Massachusetts is set to launch online sports betting at 10 a.m. this Friday, March 10. We have to say “is set to” and not “will” because, technically, that launch date and time isn’t official yet.
One more regulatory domino has to fall before that can happen: The sportsbooks must receive their operations certificates.
That process is on the Thursday agenda for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will decide whether to officially green light the potential MA sports betting apps. An operations certificate is a fancy way of saying you can operate in the state. So, essentially, we won’t know for sure if apps will launch March 10 until March 9.
Not launching March 10 would be big shock
All expectations are that the five-member MGC will give the final stamp of approval to all eligible operators. Six operators — DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, Barstool Sportsbook and WynnBET — plan to launch as soon as MA online sports betting goes live. Betr anticipates a late March or April launch. Two operators — Bally Bet and Fanatics Sportsbook — plan for a May launch. And one operator — Betway — will launch next January.
The MGC has already voted to approve all 10 companies for online sports betting licenses in the state.
Translation: A major surprise would need to happen for any of the 10 to not receive their operations certificate.
“The 10th at 10 a.m. is still penciled in,” MGC spokesperson Thomas Mills told PlayMA on Monday, “but I expect we can put that in ink shortly.”
Pre-launch offers already going out
Several sportsbooks are already promoting pre-launch bonus offers in Massachusetts.
BetMGM Massachusetts, for instance, is giving new MA customers $200 in bonus bets if they register before March 10. FanDuel Massachusetts is offering $100 in bonus bets for signing up early, as well. And you can also sign up for DraftKings Massachusetts ahead of the presumed March 10 launch, too.
At full maturity, PlayMA projects Massachusetts could drive up to $5.7 billion in annual sports betting handle — led by those three sportsbooks and Caesars. That $5.7 billion would rank No. 8 in the US, according to our 2023 projections.