SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With just two weeks left until online sports betting is allowed in Massachusetts, the Gaming Commission (MGC) has approved temporary licenses for nine operators.
During a public meeting held Thursday, MGC has approved temporary licenses for Category 3 sports wagering to the following operators:
- Barstool Sportsbook (Penn Sports Interactive)
- Caesars Sportsbook
Bruce Band, Director of Sports Wagering for the MGC, told 22News, “Everything seems to be moving forward very smoothly. All the geofencing is going well, internal control are going much smoother, House rules are moving forward. I don’t really see at this point any stumbling blocks.”
BalleyBet and Fanatics will not be launching their products until May 2023. Digital Gaming Corp (Betway) told the MGC that they also plan to submit a request for a temporary license but they will not launch in the state for approximately one year.
Pointsbet also applied for a Category 3 license but later withdrew their application.
Online sports wagering begins on March 10 in Massachusetts. All three casinos in the state have been accepting in-person sports wagers since January 31. Former Governor Baker signed the sports wager bill into law on August 10, 2022.
However, it wasn’t just online licenses under discussion Thursday. The commission also revealed details concerning MGM Springfield’s acceptance of illicit wagers early this month. Specifically, two Harvard men’s basketball games in the first week of legal sports betting in early February. A little more than $1,200 were wagered across 28 bets placed at MGM Springfield’s kiosks. As for how this happened, it was considered a geographic mix-up.
“It occurred because when Harvard was added to the blacklist document, it was mistakenly entered as located in Connecticut, not Massachusetts,” said Kathleen Kramer, member of the MGC.
The commission will hold an adjudicatory hearing to discuss discipline sometime after March 14. In the meantime, BetMGM is reviewing its list of college teams and their home states, and MGM Springfield will now run daily audits of wagers taken to ensure they are all compliant.