The nation’s two biggest sports betting platforms by market share will have to wait nearly a month to learn if they will get approval to operate in Massachusetts. The state gaming commission on Thursday laid out a schedule for application review hearings and announced it will not issue final determinations on which applications will be approved until Jan. 19 and 20.
Boston-based DraftKings and rival FanDuel, which collectively own more than 70% of market share across legal U.S. wagering jurisdictions, are among the six operators that have applied for Category 3 stand-alone digital licenses, which will allow them the opportunity to offer sports betting without being tethered to an existing casino.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) this month awarded three mobile operators tethered to casinos — BetMGM (MGM Springfield), Caesars Sportsbook (Encore Boston Harbor), and WynnBET (Encore Boston Harbor) — initial approval to go live in 2023 . The commission will review applications for Barstool Sportsbook (Plainridge Park) and BetFanatics (Plainridge Park) on Jan. 3 and 4, respectively.
Packed schedule heading to launch
Also on Jan. 3, the MGC will hold an open hearing for anyone wishing to comment on the six operators applying for stand-alone mobile licenses. The commission has up to seven such licenses to award, but only six companies applied: Bally Bet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet.
Here’s a look at the proposed schedule for non-tethered license review hearings:
Jan. 6: Bally’s Interactive
Jan. 9: FanDuel
Jan. 10: Betr
Jan. 11: DraftKings
Jan. 13: Betway
Jan. 17: PointsBet
Jan. 19 and 20: Announcement of which applications are approved
All six applicants will be invited to attend the Jan. 6 meeting to review the process before the MGC begins discussing the Bally’s Interactive application. The MGC did share Thursday that for each review session, the operator will have 30 minutes to present an overview of its business and platform and another 30 minutes to demonstrate the platform. From there, the commission will do a section-by-section review of the application during which commissioners can ask questions and operators can offer clarifications.
Lawmakers approved legal wagering on Aug. 1, and the MGC has since been working toward launch in the first quarter of 2023. It voted last week to launch retail wagering Jan. 31 and has been pointing to early March for the debut of digital platforms.