PointsBet Withdraws From Massachusetts Sports Betting Market

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on February 24, 2023
PointsBet Withdraws Massachusetts Sports Betting Application

PointsBet withdrew its application as an online Massachusetts sports betting operator.

During their Thursday meeting, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced PointsBet would be withdrawing its temporary license application in the state.

Once PointsBet leaves the market, the Massachusetts gaming scene will have ten online sports betting operators left. Seven are expected to launch on the proposed Mar. 10 start date.

PointsBet explains decision to leave Massachusetts sports betting market

PointsBet met all criteria for a Category 3 online sports betting license. And they received MGC approval for a temporary license in January. The sportsbook worked for months with regulators. Then they decided not to submit the paperwork required nor pay the $1m license fee.

The operator’s surprising decision to pull out comes as PointsBet shifts its focus to a more regional approach. The company said via a statement:

“We have chosen this path to emphasize our continued focus on our 14 live states of the US (plus Ontario) and how we can best optimize those markets which provide an immense TAM [total addressable market] for us to go after.

We would like to thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for their consideration of our application, conducting extensive hearings, and deeming PointsBet suitable for licensure ahead of the launch of legalized sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

PointsBet has been making other changes

The shift to a regional focus wasn’t the only change PointsBet has made recently. NBC Universal and PointsBet re-established their partnership to allow the operator to save money by moving to local TV broadcasts. PointsBet also backed out of its sponsorship for the Football Night In America pregame show.

PointsBet currently operates in Canada and Australia and is live in the following states:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Last summer, PointsBet sold a nearly 13% stake to SIG Sports Investments, a division of Susquehanna International Group. The $65.5M transaction made SIG the largest shareholder in the sportsbook.

PointsBet has been in talks to sell its Australian business to NTD Limited. It’s the News Corp-led business behind Australia’s Betr brand.

Which operators are entering the Massachusetts sports betting market?

So far, nine operators have completed the licensing process and paid the $1m fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. These are:

  1. Bally’s
  2. Betr
  3. DraftKings
  4. Fanduel
  5. Caesars Sportsbook
  6. Wynnbet
  7. BetMGM
  8. Penn Sports
  9. Fanatics

According to the MGC, Fanatics Sportsbook and Bally Bet will not launch until May. Betway also said it would submit a temporary licensure request soon but would not launch for at least a year.

The temporary gaming license application would allow the operators to offer sports betting services and products for one year. Or they can continue to operate until the commission determines a final decision on the operator’s license application.

Photo by Graphic by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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