The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has awarded a temporary retail sports betting license to Plainridge Park Casino (PPC).
The facility joins the state’s two other casinos, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, as entities with a Category 1 license for retail sports wagering. The PPC license comes with a “temporary” tag as the operator is still under investigation by the regulatory agency due to its relationship with Barstool Sports.
A Delay Before Approval
Back in February, the MGC began its probe of PPC. PENN Entertainment operates the casino and owns a 36% stake in Barstool. Dave Portnoy, the owner of Barstool, is under legal scrutiny due to allegations of sexual misconduct and reports of hostile working conditions at his company.
The MGC delayed its initial vote on PPC’s Category 1 license application but gave the casino unanimous approval upon revisiting the submission this week.
Related news: BetMGM Sportsbook Granted MA Sports Betting License
MGC Conditional Approval for PPC
In its temporary approval of PPC, the MGC found the casino “preliminarily suitable for a temporary Category 1 sports wagering operator license.”
Conditions attached to the license stated “Commissioners required that the licensee agrees that no persons under the age of 21 will be permitted entrance into any live Barstool College Football Show events.” Barstool’s “College Football Show” podcast produces live tapings that fans can attend. The shows travel to locations where highly anticipated college football games will be played and are usually taped in the hours before kick-off.
The MGC’s conditions also state that PPC “must fully cooperate with the IEB, which will conduct an investigation of Barstool Sports, Inc. in connection with the licensee’s branding.”
The IEB is the investigative arm of the MGC, the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau. It is a law enforcement agency comprised of members of the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit and financial investigators.
PPC’s Online Gaming Partners Still Waiting
As a Category 1 operator, PPC can also partner with up to two online sports betting operators, which are classified as Category 3 operators. The casino has indicated that its partners will be Penn Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook (BetFanatics). The MGC is still in the process of reviewing applications for online operators, a process that will probably resume in January after a holiday break.
Also, BetFanatics has yet to open to the public. Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said that the company expects to begin launching its sports betting division in January 2023.
The MGC expects retail MA sports betting to officially launch in late January in time for bettors to make wagers on the Super Bowl and mobile operators to open for business in the state in March 2023.