BOSTON (State House News Service) – As it tries to launch a legal sports wagering industry by late January, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is calling in reinforcements.

Executive Director Karen Wells filled commissioners in Thursday on the variety of consulting arrangements the commission has made: the audit and consulting firm RSM US has been brought on board to help the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau with background reviews of sports wagering applications and a group of former law enforcement officials, including some who previously worked on the State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit, has been contracted to help the IEB conduct general suitability reviews of applicants.

And the commission has also hired Gaming Labs International, a testing, certification, and professional services firm that is relied upon by organizations throughout the gaming world and has assisted other regulatory bodies with sports betting implementation, to assist with technical standards, testing standards and the drafting of internal control regulations. Well did not provide cost estimates for the contracts and the sports betting law includes provisions that allow the commission to recover some costs from licensees.

“That is going to be huge for our implementation timeline,” Wells said. She later added, “It’s a great win for the MGC to get them on board and have that set to go. I know the team is really excited to have this kind of level of help and this level of professionalism.”

The commission agreed last week to work towards a target of “late January” for the start of in-person betting at the state’s two casinos and one slots parlor, and a target of “early March” for the beginning of mobile betting. At the same time, commissioners and the staff are busy with the casino gambling matters that occupied their time before sports betting was made legal in August.

“As you know, we all have our day jobs, we still run an agency here. So bringing in that assistance is critical to us with the timeline,” Wells said of the contracted help.