Massachusetts Regulators Affirm Sports Betting Process Details

Written By Derek Helling on October 21, 2022
license massachusetts sports betting scoping survey

Amid hours of discussion on the particulars of draft regulations, members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) did settle a few things when it comes to legal Massachusetts sports betting on Thursday. At the same time, several questions remain unanswered.

The issues of exactly when Massachusetts residents can expect to be able to start placing legal bets, how many choices they’ll have when that day comes, and whether all the licensed books will go live at the same time remain up in the air. However, eager bettors do now have some idea of what those choices might encompass.

Who’s in on Massachusetts sports betting?

At the onset of Thursday’s MGC meeting, Chair Cathy Judd-Stein confirmed that the Commission received nearly 30 responses to its scoping survey by the Monday, Oct. 17 deadline. The list of responders includes all three of the state’s casinos and its trio of track operators.

Additionally, over 20 potential online sportsbook operators supplied scoping survey responses as well. Those brands, which feature some of the most successful sports betting operators in other states, include:

State law allows for each retail licensee to also take bets online, so BetMGM and WynnBet could get into Massachusetts via that route. The statute also gives the MGC the room to approve as many as seven permanent online-only licenses.

Thus, several of the companies who returned scoping survey forms may ultimately get left out in Massachusetts. The scoping survey is an important initial part of the necessary license application for all hopeful licensees.

With these responses in tow, the Commission now has an idea of who to expect licenses from. Those applicants got a reminder of when the MGC expects to see those applications on Thursday as well.

Commission reminds applicants of pending application deadline

The MGC recently posted license application forms on its website. On Thursday, commissioners repeated that the current deadline to submit those forms is Nov. 21. Beyond that, the meeting was filled with a lot of conversation on how the MGC will proceed with those forms after receipt.

Commissioners will review applications for completeness and suitability with the help of outside firms. MGC members had a lot of discussion on Thursday about the exact processes and their interpretation of regulations around those processes.

One matter of debate was what to do with license applications that lack pertinent information. Commissioners were undecided between whether to judge each application on its merits as submitted while seeking clarification or to set such applications aside until the applicant cures the outstanding issues.

Those conversations will continue in the Commission’s next meeting on Oct. 27, as the MGC took no action to finalize any of the draft regulations Thursday. At the same time, the field of contenders for licenses is now established.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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