All six companies that applied for untethered Category 3 Massachusetts online sports betting licenses got the final stamp of approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday.
DraftKings, FanDuel, Bally Bet, Betr, PointsBet, and Betway are now cleared to prepare their Massachusetts sports betting apps for launch, which will likely happen in March. Betway is the only of the six apps that said it won’t be ready to launch its platform by then.
The only sportsbook that didn’t receive unanimous 5-0 approval from the MGC was Betr, which received a 4-1 approval. The lone nay voter, Commissioner Eileen O’Brien, said she had concerns over Betr’s sportsbook and social media business sides overlapping and potentially exposing underage gamblers to sports betting advertising.
This marked the culmination of a license-approval process that dated back to early December, when the MGC began reviewing retail sportsbook license applications.
In all, the MGC has approved 14 applications.
The Category 1 retail licenses:
- MGM Springfield
- Encore Boston Harbor
- Plainridge Park Casino
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The tethered Category 2 online licenses:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
And the untethered Category 3 online licenses:
- Bally Bet
Massachusetts will officially launch retail sports betting at its three casinos on Jan. 31, with a soft launch the day prior. Then, online sports betting is expected to launch by some time in March, potentially before March Madness.
Suffolk Downs (and Raynham Park) have told regulators they won’t be ready to launch retail sportsbooks by Jan. 31. So their applications are on hold for now.
What About BetRivers?
There’s also a chance BetRivers eventually applies for a MA online sports betting license. The rising competitor in the sports betting industry was a noticeable absence from the list of companies in the first wave of applications.
A spokesperson for Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers’ parent company, told Play Massachusetts in early January that they “will not be commenting regarding the Massachusetts market at this time.”
Only time will tell. Massachusetts law allows for up to 15 online sports betting licenses. Only 11 have been claimed.