PointsBet changes mind on MA, pulls license application

Hands ripping piece of paper in half
Image: Shutterstock

In a surprising announcement Thursday, PointsBet revealed it will be pulling its sports betting license application in Massachusetts.

PointsBet received its initial approval for an untethered Category 3 sports betting license in January barring a couple of administrative matters like providing metrics on diversity efforts.

However, at today’s Massachusett’s Gaming Commission (MGC) meeting, MGC Executive Director Karen Wells said the group is withdrawing its application and will not launch in the state.

A PointsBet spokesperson provided the following statement to SBC Americas:

“You will have seen the outcome from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting today where PointsBet made the decision to withdraw its application at this time. We have chosen this path to emphasize our continued focus on our 14 live states of the US (plus Ontario) and how we can best optimize those markets which provide an immense TAM for us to go after. We would like to thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for their consideration of our application, conducting extensive hearings, and deeming PointsBet suitable for licensure ahead of the launch of legalized sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

In addition to the PointsBet news, the MGC cut the list of operators who will be prepared to launch online sports betting in the Commonwealth on March 10. Fanatics and Bally Bet informed the MGC they will not be prepared to launch until May. Betway also told the commission that, with the transfer of ownership to SuperGroup, the company will not be launching for another year.

With that news, that leaves the following operators ready to launch next month:

  • Barstool
  • BetMGM
  • betr
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • WynnBet

PointsBet is not the first operator to backtrack on plans to come to Massachusetts. Earlier this year, bet365 walked away from a partnership with Raynham Park to offer online sports betting in the state.

Several operators are also reconsidering how many states they want to operate in. Unibet pulled out of Iowa and is looking to potentially leave other states. Meanwhile, other operators are shutting down sports betting operations in the US altogether.

At one point, Massachusetts was concerned they would be absolutely overrun with sports betting applications. Instead, the state has fewer operators than licenses available while operators get increasingly discerning about which US markets they will enter.