What Will Next Week Bring in Sports Betting Setup?

What Will Next Week Bring in Sports Betting Setup?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

A big week is coming up as Massachusetts sports betting inches ever so closer to launching in 2023.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced Thursday a two-day schedule as it continues to review applications for sports wagering operator licenses.

Starting Monday at 10 a.m., the MGC will review MGM Springfield and BetMGM Massachusetts applications and the following day will review Caesars Massachusetts Sportsbook and Plainridge Park Casino applications.

Should time permit, Penn Sports Interactive (Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts) and Fanatics also will be reviewed.

If time does not allow for review of the applications for Category 3 licenses to be tethered to a Plainridge Park Casino Category 1 sports wagering license, those evaluations will be moved to a date in early January and more information will be provided by the MGC.

WynnBet, Encore Boston Harbor First to be Approved

On Dec. 8, the MGC approved a Category 1 license to Encore Boston Harbor (EBH) in Everett to operate a WynnBET retail sportsbook. Last Tuesday, the MGC voted unanimously to approve WynnBET Massachusetts' Category 3 mobile sports wagering license to complete the historic and first-ever approvals.

WynnBET, the first of 12 mobile applications to be approved by the MGC, is one of two mobile operators that will be affiliated with Encore Boston Harbor, along with Caesars Massachusetts Sportsbook.

Retail sports betting is expected to launch in the state in mid-January.

Mobile wagering and Massachusetts sports apps are slated to begin in March, hopefully before the first game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Caesars Snafu

After the review of Caesars by the MGC on Wednesday, the Commission opted not to put a final vote for approval on its Category 3 mobile sports betting license. Additional information that was sought was not included in Caesars’ original application.

After a seven-hour meeting of presentations, discussions — along with questions and answers among all the parties involved — the Commission went into an executive session to discuss the matter and eventually opted not to return for any further discussion or vote at that time.

There were several issues that came up surrounding Caesars’ original application during Wednesday's hearing that concerned information not provided on past infractions and violations of rules in other states where Caesars operates.

Those concerns, along with a possible approval vote, will be held Tuesday.

Also last week, MGM Springfield and PENN-owned Plainridge Park Casino had votes on their retail sportsbook licenses delayed because of various concerns, including PPC's relationship with Barstool Sports and its founder, David Portnoy, along with the use of BetMGM Massachusetts to manage the book in Springfield.

MGM Springfield and BetMGM will be heard on Monday.

Of the 12 mobile operators that applied for licenses in the Bay State, six will stand on their own and five will work in partnership with the casinos approved to take bets in the state. One mobile operator (bet365) will partner with Raynham Park's retail site once its Category 2 license is granted.

Eventually, Massachusetts sports betting will be on the way. It just might take longer than what some people were expecting.

Along the way, BetMassachusetts is your source for news developments as well as for Massachusetts sports betting promo codes.

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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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