Massachusetts draws fewer sports betting applicants than licenses

Massachusetts sportsbook operator licenses
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During an epic stretch of multi-day meetings, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) was concerned there would simply not be time to vet the applicants for a limited number of online sports betting licenses. After two dozen outlets signaled an intent to come into the state, MGC received just 12 applications for 15 available sports betting licenses.

Most surprising is that, with seven untethered operating licenses available, the state only received six applicants. Those applicants are:

  • Bally Bet
  • Betr
  • Betway
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet

Granted, some operators that had signaled interest, like MaximBet and Fubo Sportsbook, have shuttered their sportsbooks, while others, like Unibet, are being more choosy about what markets they enter in North America.

As reported previously, Encore Boston Harbor will use its second online license to allow Caesars Sportsbook into the state. Plainridge Park, which is owned by Penn Entertainment, will use one license for its own Barstool Sportsbook and the other license for the yet-to-launch Fanatics Sportsbook. A Penn spokesperson confirmed the plans for the upstart operator to use Penn’s second license.

MGM Springfield, meanwhile, will elect to only use one of its two licenses for BetMGM, leaving the other one unused.

The two racetracks, Suffolk Downs and Raynham Park, did not file for licenses. The Category 2-eligible racetracks had previously let the MGC know they will not be on the same accelerated timeline as Category 1 and Category 3. While they have not applied, Raynham Park did express its intent to work with bet365. Suffolk Downs uses FanDuel for its horse racing betting, but has yet to commit to an operator.

The timeline for MGC To approve these applications and launch to get underway in early January for retail and March for online betting. With fewer applications than expected, perhaps there is potential to move that timeline for online launch up?