Penn Interactive is the latest online sportsbook to obtain a temporary license to operate in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the group’s application on Wednesday, albeit with a few conditions.
The conditions attached to approval are similar to those attached to Penn’s land-based partner in the state, Plainridge Park Casino. The five commissioners did not re-litigate the debate around Barstool Sports, which Penn Entertainment describes as a separate marketing partner from the sportsbook brand, that came with the retail hearing, but Commissioner Eileen O’Brien in particular reiterated her concerns about the marketing partnership.
Accordingly, the same condition for Plainridge Park that involves a full investigation of Barstool Sports by the MGC’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) stands for the interactive division as well. The agreement to not allow anyone under the age of 21 into future live tapings of The Barstool College Football Show applies as well.
Like several other operators approved in Massachusetts so far, Penn Interactive will also need to submit additional details about its plans to expand Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. The company will need to provide goals for growth with internal hiring as well as goals for diverse spending on vendors.
Finally, the company will need to provide updates on a pending legal matter in Illinois. The case was discussed in a confidential executive session, as the matter has not been disclosed at all in public prior to the hearing.
This sets Penn Interactive and its online brand Barstool Sportsbook up to be ready to launch when Massachusetts online gambling gets underway in March of this year.