Ahead of the March 10th 2023 launch of online sports betting in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (‘MGC’) has approved temporary licenses for nine Category 3 betting operators.
Who will launch in Massachusetts in March?
Of the nine licenses granted, two operators will not launch on March 10th, but plan to launch in May 2023 instead. This leaves the following operators to launch in March:
- Barstool Sportsbook (PENN)
- Caesars Sportsbook
The two operators who are set to launch in May are BallyBet and Fanatics. Digital Gaming Corp (Betway) has also told the MGC that they will soon submit a request for a temporary license and pay the $1 million licensing fee, but will not look to launch in Massachusetts for approximately a year.
Pointsbet joins Bet365 in operators who have withdrawn from the process of obtaining a MA license.
Retail sports betting launched in the Commonwealth on 31st January 2023, with three casinos taking wagers with star-studded opening nights and ceremonies. The Mayor placed the first legal sports wager on Superbowl LVII – and a number of high profile celebrities and former sports stars graced casino floors to place a wager on opening nights.
It’s not been without bumps along the way, however. All three casinos (MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park) have breached legislation by offering illegal markets, largely down to supplier faults and failing to blacklist college games. The MGC has, however, acknowledged that they expected a few teething problems and will ensure that punishments are proportionate.
Similarly, the MGC has identified the launch date of mobile sports wagering a few days ahead of one of the most anticipated sports wagering events of the year: March Madness. By launching mobile sports wagering in advance, the commission hopes to smooth out any inconsistencies before wagers flood in during March Madness.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has only reported sports betting wagering revenue for one day of sports betting in January. On January 31st, $65,706 in gross sports wagering revenue was generated at MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino, with Encore Boston Harbor taking a proverbial battering and losing $75,230. As February draws to a close, when full month retail figures are reported, analysts will gain a more accurate idea of the total addressable market in MA.
MA mobile sports betting is the next state to go live, following Ohio at the start of the new year. The United States is currently in full legislative swing, with bills being filed everywhere attempting to amend or legalize sports betting or online gaming in several states. The ones to watch include Texas sports betting and New York online gaming, which could reap huge rewards for commercial operators should legislation pass.
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