Massachusetts online sports betting has been highly anticipated for a long time now. When the state’s legislature finally agreed on a bill to bring sports betting to the Bay State at the eleventh hour of the summer session in July, there was excitement at the thought of another north-eastern state going live. And the operators clearly mirror that excitement.
23 operators battle for just 15 licenses
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has revealed that 23 online sports betting operators applied for a license to operate in Massachusetts in time for the Oct 17 deadline.
The list of those operators who have applied for one of the 15 Massachusetts online sports betting licenses is as follows: Bally Bet, bet365, Betfred, BetMGM, Betr, BetRivers, Betway, BuddyBet, Caesars Sportsbook, ClutchBet, DraftKings, EasyWin, Fanatics, FanDuel, Fanlogic, MaximBet, Mohegan Digital, Novibet, Penn Sports Interactive, PointsBet, Underdog Sports Wagering, Unibet and WynnBet.
This represents high demand, considering the state’s sports betting legislation dictates that only 15 licenses are up for grabs, with just seven of those available detached from casino partnerships.
Already established is that WynnBet, BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook have already secured partnerships with Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park casinos respectively.
The MGC also disclosed that Category 1 and Category 2 applications have also been submitted. The three Category 1 applicants were Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino. Meanwhile, the Category 2 applicants were Commonwealth Equine and Agricultural Center/Great Meadowbrook Farm, Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs.
When will Massachusetts online sports betting launch?
A definitive launch date for Massachusetts online sports betting has yet to be determined, with the Commission failing to agree on a universal date.
The entire process to bring Massachusetts sports betting to life has been a tiresome, arduous process which, during the legislative period, seemed to flicker between on and off more than a light switch.
A battle over college sports saw legislators fight until the eleventh hour of the final day of the session after many believed that a compromise could not be reached.
Now that issue is settled, a 10-hour MGC meeting could not reach a conclusion over a launch timeline, though progress was made.
A staggered launch will take place beginning with retail in January, with online sports betting set to go live sometime in March 2023.
The MGC is set to meet once again later today to discuss several topics including sports wagering process updates and the sports wagering license evaluation process.