Many major sportsbook brands in America met in Boston for a recent round table regarding the launch of sports betting in Massachusetts. The result of the round table saw two significant issues being brought to light. First, operators want the state to set an official launch date. In addition, they want the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to put a cap on temporary licenses being issued.
Temporary License Issue
As it stands today, the MGC is currently allowing for as many as 20 temporary initial sports betting licenses in Massachusetts. Those licenses will likely be issued as follows:
- Five retail licenses at retail casinos/simulcast facilities
- Eight mobile apps tied to the above facilities
- Seven licenses issued for apps not tied to any retail facility
Some operators are encouraging the MGC to allow more temporary licenses that will be available on a permanent basis. They argue that operators invest significant resources to launch in a state, and it would not be fair to have their temporary license not roll over to a permanent one due to a total number of license restrictions.
Universal Launch Date Or Staggered Launch?
Over 40 sportsbooks have submitted requests for initial licensure in Massachusetts. Many wait on their approval, and those already approved are still waiting for the green light to launch. The sportsbooks participating in the roundtable all pushed for a universal launch date.
The push was due to what they said makes for a fair and competitive market. With a staggered launch, those that got to launch first would have a competitive advantage, and it would not be fair to those trying to draw in bettors after other sportsbooks had already gotten them to use their services.
Any News On A Launch Date?
In a single word? No. At this time, there is no concrete evidence suggesting when the state launch date might be. The only tidbit that keeps getting put out there is that the powers at be want the launch to occur before the end of football season. That could mean a launch anytime between now and Super Bowl LVII in February.