What Time on Jan. 31 Will Mass. Casinos Start Sports Betting?

What Time on Jan. 31 Will Mass. Casinos Start Sports Betting?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

You finally can add hours to the countdown for the historic launch of Massachusetts sports betting.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced Friday that retail sportsbooks in the Commonwealth (Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino) can launch at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 31, pending final regulatory approval, on-site testing and licensees obtaining operations certificates sometime next week.

The Category 1 licenses tied to the casinos are Barstool Sports, BetMGM Massachusetts, Caesars Sports, Fanatics and WynnBET.

Other items discussed and voted upon during Friday's meeting: sports wagering regulations, including advertising (settled with a 5-0 vote); continuing disclosure and reporting obligations of sports wagering licensees (5-0); surveillance and monitoring (5-0); play management; temporary prohibition from sports wagering and the withdrawal of an application (all tabled for future).

Sports wagering implementation and the state's 47 sports wagering events catalog also was tabled until next Tuesday’s public meeting.

Historic Thursday in Bay State

The MGC on Thursday approved all six "untethered" Category 3 mobile sportsbook license applications, which include BallyBet, betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel Massachusetts and PointsBet USA.

Mobile betting is expected to begin in early March, before the start of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament. No date or time has been determined for launch of Massachusetts betting apps.

MGC to Meet with Player Associations Monday

The MGC will hold a public meeting Monday at noon and will begin a sports wagering roundtable discussion with five different professional Players Associations.

The roundtable will include: the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA).

MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein will begin with opening remarks and introductions, before the Commission turns to the following topics of discussion: regulations protecting athlete and family safety, collective bargaining agreements and other considerations.

Of note, state regulators announced Wednesday they will launch voluntary "self-exclusion" on Tuesday, Jan. 23, eight days before retail sports betting commences the following Tuesday.

Self-exclusion is a program aimed at helping problem gambling. Bettors who place themselves on the list are banned from entering premises where legalized gambling takes place. This can include racetracks, casinos, retail sportsbooks, off-track betting establishments, etc. It also can pertain to online betting.

BetMassachusetts.com will continue to keep you informed on the machinations on the way to sports betting in the state. The site also has 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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