SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While the official launch date for sports betting has not been announced, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is hoping to have the first bets placed by the end of January.
MGM is close to making that a reality in Springfield after it was approved for a sports betting license Monday.
“It’s been a long night but the business is done,” said Cathy Judd-Stein, the Chair of the commission after more than 11 hours of deliberation.
MGM will be able to offer in-person and online sports betting, however BetMGM’s online license is temporary. They will have to provide a vendor diversity list and updates on two confidential investigations.
While MGM Springfield was able to get that sports wagering license, Representative Bud Williams is raising concerns in general saying there is not enough representation in the Gaming Commission for western Massachusetts.
“For some reason we have to fight harder in western Massachusetts, we just do,” Williams told 22News.
The Commission currently does not have anyone from western Massachusetts so Representative Williams is calling for a law to be put in place. He argues a lack of representation is making it hard to hold MGM Springfield accountable for its role in renewing downtown.
“Just make them a corporation that keeps their word,” he said.
MGM Springfield sent the following statement to 22News last week:
“Since opening our doors in 2018, MGM Springfield has achieved all of our development commitments made to the City of Springfield. As the largest private investment in Western Massachusetts, we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide the city with more than $100 million in tax revenue to-date. And although we were closed for nearly four months in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and under significant operational restrictions for ten months, we were able to provide our team members with healthcare throughout and the benefits afforded through our Employee Assistance Fund. We look forward to working with the City of Springfield as it reinvests this revenue in downtown Springfield, and to continue to work towards our shared goal of revitalizing this historic community and reenergizing downtown Springfield.”