The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Monday evening awarded operation certificates to Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park the night before all three are scheduled to take the state’s first sports bets.
The commission initially met Monday morning, but at least one sportsbook had not yet met all of the certification requirements, so the MGC broke the meeting and reconvened after some of the commissioners and staff made the nearly two-hour drive from Boston to Springfield to be on hand for the sportsbook’s opening.
Barstool Sportsbook (Plainridge Park), BetMGM (MGM Springfield), and WynnBET (Encore Boston Harbor) will all begin taking in-person bets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in their new sportsbooks.
The approval was the last needed ahead of the sportsbook openings for the three casinos. The MGC still has regulations to review and approve in the coming months as it moves toward launching digital operators in early March. The expectation is that 11 digital platforms, including one from each of the three approved retail entities, will go live in Massachusetts at that time.
The state’s new law allows for a maximum of 15 mobile/online sites. In addition, two horse racetracks will each be able to have a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, though those won’t open until late in the year or in 2024.
MGC to study kiosks
The commission also was informed that memorandums of understanding needed between each of the casinos and the MGC before launch will be in place by Tuesday morning.
As #sportsbetting begins Tuesday in #Massachusetts, it's not just going to be people legally placing wagers on the Super Bowl. On Beacon Hill In 5, why state is not really counting on a big payoff from taxes on sports betting. #mapolihttps://t.co/14k0EvBBWG
— New England Public Media (@nepublicmedia) January 30, 2023
As sports betting goes live, the commission is currently seeking an entity to study the feasibility and effect of allowing betting kiosks at some retail locations. The MGC would like to study what types of retail locations (i.e., bars, restaurants, grocery stores, bowling alleys) would make sense for kiosks and how those kiosks could affect the communities in which they would be installed. In addition, the MGC is interested in how or if wagering kiosks would affect the sales of lottery tickets and the black market.
The request for response closes Feb. 28.