Massachusetts Sports Betting On Track To Start In Two Weeks

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By Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

Having met on most working days since the start of December 2022, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulators are nearing the end of their initial review of sports betting applications and preparing for the start of public in-person betting, planned for Tuesday, January 31.

Tuesday saw the Gaming Commission active on both fronts — with a public hearing on regulations that all operators, including the casinos and slots parlors that are planning to offer betting later this month, will have to abide by, followed by a full commission meeting to finish up the review of the six applications the commission got for mobile sports betting licenses that will not be tied to an existing casino or slots parlor. While in-person betting is expected to start at the end of this month, the commission has slated mobile betting for an “early March” start.

Licensing decisions on the six untethered applications could be finalized by the end of the week.

“After today, we will begin our overall determination of the applicants as a whole and that will begin starting late tomorrow afternoon into the next day and ending, likely ending, on Friday,” Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said Tuesday morning, January 17.

Gaming Commission meeting materials suggest that an additional meeting might be in the cards for Friday morning, January 20 — a session at which commissioners could be asked to approve the house rules and floor plans for the so-called Category 1 operators that will be the first to take bets (Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett). Those facilities could be up for votes on their certificates of operation at a meeting that could be held Wednesday, January 25, according to the commission documents.

Late last month, the commission agreed that it would hold a “soft launch” of in-person betting at each facility on Monday, January 30 to allow its regulators to observe how they handle taking bets from staff and invited guests. In-person betting would become available to the public the following day, Tuesday, January 31.


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