Eleven days after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) granted its first retail sportsbook license, the regulatory agency gave MGM Springfield its seal of approval in an unanimous vote.
The Western Massachusetts resort casino also received a license for its online sports betting partner, BetMGM Sportsbook. This means that both retail and mobile sports betting will be allowed at the facility.
MGC Approval Comes With Conditions
Earlier this month, Encore Boston Harbor was the first of the state’s three casinos to obtain a retail sportsbook license.
The MGC discussed MGM Springfield’s application on Dec. 7 but delayed member voting. Commissioners were unsatisfied that MGM Springfield’s retail sportsbook license application, classified as Category 1, was primarily focused on its online betting partner, BetMGM. Mobile sportsbooks had to submit a separate application for a Category 3 license, a designation for online operators.
After the MGC’s Dec. 19 public hearings and vote, MGM Springfield received the green light. As with Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield must fulfill additional requirements before it can accept wagers: “MGM Springfield now must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before bets can be accepted.”
BetMGM’s license, which is tethered to MGM Springfield, also has conditions attached to it. Per the MGC:
“Conditions were placed on this vote requiring BetMGM to provide timely and ongoing updates regarding any developments to two confidential investigations first reported to the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau on Dec. 16, 2022. Additionally, BetMGM must provide the MGC with a vendor diversity list.”
Also, from the MGC regarding BetMGM:
“BetMGM is now eligible to request a temporary license to conduct sports wagering while a full suitability review is undertaken by the MGC. Following a temporary license being granted, BetMGM must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before they can accept wagers on approved sporting events. More information on a universal launch for retail wagering, followed by online wagering will be released as it becomes available.”
The current timeline for sports betting to launch in the state is late January 2023 for retail sportsbooks and March 2023 for online operators, according to the MGC.
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MGC Approvals So Far and the Rest of the Field
So far, the list of approved sports betting licenses includes the following:
- Encore Boston Harbor
- MGM Springfield
- Plainridge Park Casino (with specific conditions attached pending an investigation)
- WynnBET (Encore Boston partner)
- Caesars Sportsbook (Encore Boston partner)
- BetMGM (MGM Springfield partner)
The remaining Category 3 applicants still in line for a Massachusetts sports betting license include:
- bet365 (partnered with simulcast center Raynham Park, a Category 2 operator)
- Bally Bet
- Betway (DGC USA)
Category 2 operators, which include two licensed racetracks, Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs, are on a different timeline and can submit their applications for retail sportsbooks on a rolling basis.