Thursday’s MGC Hearing Could Include Start Date for Mass. Sports Betting

Thursday’s MGC Hearing Could Include Start Date for Mass. Sports Betting
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

After two meetings lasting a total of 12-plus hours, a concrete timeline for Massachusetts sports betting could come Thursday.

That’s when the next public meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will be held.

What Is Expected to Be Discussed Thursday

Scheduled for 10 a.m. via Zoom, the commission will consider temporary licenses and the regulations for House Rules that were tabled during last Thursday's meeting.

Six votes are scheduled during the meeting, per the agenda posted on the MGC website.

Those votes include a discussion on whether the launch of Massachusetts sports apps should be simultaneous or staggered, and whether the commission will seek to launch in-person betting at its casinos, slots parlors and simulcast off-track-betting (OTB) locations before or at the same time as it launches mobile and online betting.

Retail sportsbook locations, even if temporary, are expected to launch and go live first.

The last item on the agenda is a plan (possibly with date and time) for an upcoming sports wagering roundtable related to mobile/digital sports wagering operators.

Round Table on Responsible Gaming

On Tuesday, the MGC - which will oversee implementation and licensing of sports wagering - held a meeting lasting more than three hours with a roundtable discussion on responsible gaming related to sports wagering.

Among the topics:

  • Voluntary self-exclusion
  • Adapting responsible gaming/budgetary tools
  • Protections/measures to enforce under-21 age restriction
  • Marketing/advertising, employee training
  • Promotion of social responsibility, and how to implement

A budget for hires and other expenses needed to launch was passed at last Thursday's meeting.

Who Wants To Launch Sports Betting in Massachusetts?

A total of 42 entities filed a formal Notice of Intent last month to offer sports betting services in the state.

The list includes: a partner company of Boston-based DraftKings, 888, PointsBet, Penn Sports (Barstool), BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET (Encore Boston Harbor Casino) and Bally’s.

State law permits retail betting at three casinos (Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino) as well as current pari-mutuel sites at Suffolk Downs and Raynham Park.

The state legislature agreed to pass a sports betting bill back on Aug. 1. Massachusetts became the 36th state to legalize sports wagering on Aug. 10.

Stay close to BetMassachusetts.com for news of Thursday's meeting and other updates, as well as for top Massachusetts sportsbook promos.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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