No Launch Date Set in Massachusetts
The hardest part in the path to sports betting in Massachusetts is out of the way, but plenty of big steps remain. A committee was finally able to approve a sports betting bill on August 1, and it is expected to be signed by Governor Charlie Baker soon.
As soon as the bill is finally a law in the state, the countdown to the official launch date is one, but that date is not yet known at this time. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will play a large role in getting the industry up and running, and that group has warned residents that this could take some time.
This Gaming Commission has been working behind the scenes to get a plan in place, but it could still take some time. An initial timeline suggested a five-month process to award sports betting licenses, but that would mean that a date in 2023 is likely.
Potential sportsbooks in Massachusetts will lose out on millions of dollars if sports betting is not available for the NFL season, but the Super Bowl is the biggest target. There is a chance that retail sports betting could launch sooner as some of those licenses are already reserved for casinos.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is going to continue to meet and discuss plans for the next steps in this process, and the hope is that things won’t be as messy as they were when this bill was getting discussed.
Details Emerge For Applicants
This is expected to be a pretty competitive bidding process for the licenses that are available, and the Gaming Commission has released the criteria that will be used to determine those licenses.
This will be done on a points system, and there will be 13 different criteria that will be used to judge the applicants. The experience and success of a mobile sports betting operator is at the top of the list, and will weigh heavily in the decision.
Massachusetts agreed to legalize sports betting as a way to bring in new revenue for the state, and the ability to generate revenue will also be looked at. The amount of new jobs that are created from the launch of a sportsbook is another area where the Gaming Commission will judge the applicants.
Professional Teams Targeting Partnerships
The initial bill that was passed by the House allowed for professional sports teams in the state to offer sports betting. That was not included in the final bill, but the pro teams that are located in Boston are all going to be involved by seeking out sports betting partnerships.
The Boston Red Sox were hoping to offer a sportsbook in historic Fenway Park, or at least in close proximity to the stadium. Boston already partners with DraftKings in the DFS industry, but it could be looking to add additional partners for sports betting.
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