42 companies eager to be involved in Massachusetts betting

Preliminary Massachusetts Betting Applicants
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The list of companies interested in offering sports betting in Massachusetts now numbers 42. There are only 15 operator liceneses available though. Massachusetts Gaming Commission released the list on Thursday, noting that this is just a list of interest, not a list of actual applicants.

The list is a little more complicated than 42 companies vying for 15 slots. Some of the interested parties on the list include suppliers like Novomatic and Sportradar, for example.

Additionally, WynnBet, Penn Interactive (Barstool Sportsbook), and BetMGM are all guaranteed a license given their associated land-based casino. Additionally, the two state racetracks applied for licenses that could potentially go to an outside operator they team up with. So, when you boil the list down, that really leaves 36 operators aiming to grab the remaining 12 licenses.

Per the regulations, the casinos each can bring on an additional skin beyond their own license. When market access deals are taken into consideration, the true number of available licenses may be even lower than 12.

Penn signed skin deal with Flutter’s The Star’s Group in 2019

In 2019, Penn Entertainment inked deals with DraftKings, PointsBet, The Stars Group (now part of Flutter), and TheScore (now part of Penn). In that 20-year deal, Penn offered up its second skin in Massachusetts to Flutter’s The Stars Group, which could give FanDuel a path to the state. FOX Bet, Flutter’s other US sports betting brand, was not on the list of Massachusetts applicants.

It also stands to reason that DraftKings, the state’s homegrown business, will be granted a license without a partner. With those relationships in mind, that leaves only 10 licenses for 34 other brands to fight over.

Who is still looking for a way into MA?

The big names left on the list of applicants include:

  • 888
  • Bally Bet
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • Fanatics
  • MaximBet
  • PointsBet
  • Resorts World Bet

One unexpected name on the list of interested companies is BarberTime Media Network. The local media network describes itself as a media company aiming to capture the energy of Black barbershops and “barbershop talk.” It is one of the only truly local businesses on the list.

Of the ten remaining licenses, six would be independent licenses, while the other four would be skin deals either through Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield or the two tracks, Suffolk Downs and Raynham Park. The two tracks both spoke publicly and noted they are weighing potential partners.

Encore Boston Harbor’s interactive division did apply for a license, but there have been rumors circulating all year that Wynn Interactive is looking to get out of the sports betting game. Were those rumors proved true, that could open up an additional licensing opportunity in the state.