Upcoming Match-ups

Gaming Commission Approves First Massachusetts Online Sports Betting License

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Dec 13, 2022 · 2:20 PM PST

New England Patriots players celebrating touchdown white jerseys
December 12, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Patriots Mac Jones (10) and Kevin Harris (26) celebrate a rushing touchdown against the Cardinals during the first half of a game at State Farm Stadium. Nfl Cardinals Patriots 1213 New England Patriots At Arizona Cardinals
  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the first tethered online sports betting license today
  • WynnBET receives first tethered online sports betting license
  • Sportsbook operator is tethered to Encore Boston Harbor

Massachusetts online sports betting history was made today.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the state’s first ever online sports betting license this afternoon, as WynnBET received a Category 3 tethered online sports betting license after more than a six-hour gaming meeting.

The Commissioners were also scheduled to vote and hear a Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts application as well, but did not have the time. It will likely be discussed in tomorrow’s scheduled gaming commission meeting.

“Excellent work and congratulations to WynnBET and your entire team,” Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Cathy Judd-Stein said.

Massachusetts Online Sports Betting Starts in March

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission found WynnBET’s application met or exceeded all criteria for the tethered online sports betting license. WynnBET is tethered to Encore Boston Harbor, which received its retail sports betting license at a hearing last week.

Jennifer Roberts, VP and general counsel for WynnBET, said the sportsbook operator is currently live in nine states and has plans to launch in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio in 2023. It also has market access agreements for several other states next year, she said, though did not go into further detail.

Roberts and a WynnBET representative walked the commissioners through the sportsbook apps technology, such as how to place a bet or look up odds on a certain event, and also explained how customers could place themselves on a “self-exclusionary” list or go into a “cool-off period” if they felt their betting was getting out of control.

The commissioners went into two separate executive sessions during the meeting to discussion ongoing litigation, proprietary information about the sportsbooks technology, and geolocation issues.

The commissioners are currently running through the tethered Category 3 online sports betting license applications for their three retail casinos. The members will likely hear Caesars Sportsbook’s application tomorrow, as well as continuing a discussion on MGM Springfield’s retail sports betting Category 1 license and beginning its discussion on a BetMGM Massachusetts tethered Category 3 license.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously deferred a vote on MGM’s retail sports betting license application last week, in order to gather more information and receive answers on the casino’s sports betting partnership with BetMGM.

Online sports betting is still slated to launch in March prior to the start of March Madness tournament.

Busy Week Ahead for Commissioners

On Monday, Dec. 19, the Gaming Commission will pick up on a discussion on Plainridge Park Casino’s application for a Category 1 retail sports betting license. After the discussion, the commissioners will then cover both Barstool Sportsbook and Fanatics’ application for a tethered Category 3 online sports betting license.

Last week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission deferred its vote on Plainridge Park Casino’s retail sports betting application  after questions arose regarding responsible gaming issues, the casino’s relationship with Penn Sports Interactive, and its parent company’s relationship with Barstool Sports.

If need be discussions can continue into Dec. 20.


Author Image