The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Monday voted down requests to add five different events — including slap fighting, mini golf, and skateboarding — to its sports wagering menu, and also announced that one new operator is set to debut its mobile platform May 15.
The commission unanimously turned down requests from U.S. Integrity to add Power Slap, SlapFIGHT, and Street League Skateboarding. Requests to add US Pro Mini Golf and Nitro Rallycross were backed by Commissioner Jordan Maynard, and a request to add jai alai was discussed but tabled. Maynard did vote against the slap fighting events, referring to them as “disturbing,” and Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said it was “appalling” to consider the events in an age where new research continues to reveal information about head injuries in sports.
O’Brien also said she voted against all of the potential additions in part because she was uncomfortable with the request to add them coming from a wagering supplier rather than sportsbooks.
The MGC previously voted not to include jai alai on its bet menu. The sport is more often found as a parimutuel rather than fixed-odds sports betting option.
Two new operators poised to launch
Just over two months after the universal launch date in Massachusetts, the commission shared that Betr, a microbetting site that is currently live in Ohio, had already soft-launched in the Bay State and is planning its more formal, open-to-all launch next Monday. It will bring the total number of live digital platforms in the state to seven. Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBET launched just ahead of the NCAA’s March Madness.
Fanatics Sportsbook, which is doing expanded beta testing in Ohio and Tennessee, will be up for its operations certificate at the May 16 meeting and is aiming to launch shortly afterward. Fanatics Sportsbook has plans to launch in Maryland in the coming weeks as well.
The company has been beta testing and collecting feedback from consumers to tweak the platform. This month, the company is expanding its base of customers in Ohio and Tennessee by sharing log-in codes with existing Fanatics customers, and is pointing to football season for a full-scale launch in about a dozen U.S. jurisdictions.
One other company, Betway, also has its temporary license in Massachusetts, but isn’t planning to launch until early 2024 following an acquisition by Super Group.