The next process for potential sports providers for Massachusetts sports betting has begun.
Before its next meeting on Sept. 8, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has requested that entities interested in seeking a license for sports wagering complete a form on its website.
The nine-question Notice of Intent form must be submitted for the Aug. 31 deadline.
The Notice of Intent form is not an application for a sports wagering license.
Rather, the MGC is requesting that any entity interested in obtaining a sports wagering license submit the form, so it can ascertain the level of interest in licenses.
The new law identifies three categories of sports wagering licenses, which the MGC may grant to entities meeting specific requirements
As of Friday morning, 12 companies have submitted forms:
- 888 US, Inc. (888 Holdings)
- PlayUp Interactive MA, LLC (PlayUp)
- NYX Digital Gaming (USA), LLC
- Bally’s Interactive, LLC
- PointsBet Massachusetts, LLC
- Massasoit Greyhound Association, Inc.
- FBG Enterprises OPCO, LLC (BetFanatics)
- Crown Gaming, LLC (DraftKings)
- GAN Nevada, Inc
- Sportradar Solutions, LLC
- Betr Holdings Inc.
While 12 entities have expressed interest, it is expected that many more, including big names in the gambling industry, will file Notice of Intent before the deadline.
How Massachusetts Sports Betting Progressed
On Aug. 10, Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law House Bill 5164, which legalized sports betting in Massachusetts and designates the MGC as the industry’s regulator.
Each of the state’s five licensed physical facilities are already licensed as casinos of off-site betting locations.
The five includes three casinos – Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett – and two pari-mutuel sites (Suffolk Downs in East Boston and Raynham Park).
Each operation provided updates of its preparations and plans at a meeting on Aug. 18.
Once licensed, each of the five sites will be able to offer retail betting and partner with up to two mobile providers.
For the Sept. 8 meeting, a timetable of next steps could be discussed as well as requirements needed for each of the potential suitors.
Last week, the MGC publicly met with stakeholders for the first time since a sports betting bill was signed into law.
The complete approval and regulatory process for statewide retail and mobile betting is expected to take anywhere between three to six months. It also is anticipated that up to 225 new rules will have to be enacted to regulate sports betting.
Four of the five states that border Massachusetts – New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York – have live and legal online sports betting.
Many operators already have expressed that Massachusetts, with its sports-loving population, is a fertile state for sports wagering. It's fair to expect Massachusetts sportsbook apps to be very popular when betting goes live in the state.
A recent BetMassachusetts sports betting survey found that, when plans are in place and operational, 37% of the state’s sports bettors said they would bet at least weekly and another 2 in 5 (38%) anticipate betting once a month to multiple times a year.
How much the debut of betting in Massachusetts will affect its neighboring states remains to be seen.