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Massachusetts Sports Betting Should Soon Have Clear Vision on Potential Operators

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Oct 17, 2022 · 11:07 AM PDT

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  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has set a 5 p.m. deadline for scoping surveys today
  • Each potential Massachusetts sports betting operator must submit a survey to have their application considered
  • More than 40 potential license applicants are expected for untethered online sports betting licenses

Massachusetts online sports betting should have a clear vision of its potential operators by tonight.

Amidst a six-hour Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting last week, the commissioners made an interesting note that all potential sports betting operators must submit a scoping survey to the commission by tonight at 5 p.m. in order to have their licenses application considered.

Seven Untethered Massachusetts Online Sports Betting Licenses

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission released the scoping survey for companies intending to apply for a Category 1, Category 2, or Category 3 sports bettering operator license or to be vendors for who with licenses.

The survey seeks specific company information from prospective applicants and will provide the commission with preliminary information ahead of the full applications.

While most of the retail sports betting licensing partners are already known, this process could provide valuable insight to which companies are planning to apply for one of seven coveted untethered online sports betting licenses in the Commonwealth.

As per the state’s sports betting bill, each of the three Massachusetts casinos will be able to offer up to two online sports betting skins, each state racetrack will have access to one, and seven untethered online sports betting operator licenses will be up for grabs. That’s a total of 15 online sports betting licenses.

Last month, 42 sports betting operators submitted “notices of intent” to the gaming commission to operate sports betting in the state. This was not a binding agreement to apply for a license, nor was it required to submit a license application.

Sports Betting Partnerships in the State

There are three casinos in the state and all three have partnerships with online operators already.

Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs have yet to announce any partnerships.

While a timeline for retail or online sports betting has yet to be announced, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will likely institute a “universal launch” strategy for retail sports betting on the suggestion of the operators. The commission will reveal a start date that entities can begin offering retail sports betting and any or all approved operators will be able to launch at that time.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Hopefully by January, Online by March

Two weeks ago, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved a motion to launch retail sports betting by late January and online sports betting in the Commonwealth by early March.

The commissioners approved the motion by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioner Nakisha Skinner abstaining from the decision.

Both dates can potentially be pushed back if the Commission receives public input that would make the start date too difficult, or if the staff receives a larger than expected number of sports betting license applications.

The commissioners did note in their vote that public input affecting the launch dates could force the windows to move back. They also noted that high numbers of applicants for online sports betting could also force the online launch date back as well.

Sports betting applicants seeking one of the seven untethered online sports betting licenses will be judged on a scoring system that will take into account six separate categories:

  • Financial Stability
  • Economic Impact
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Information Technology Platform
  • Responsible Gaming
  • Prior Experience and Background

The commission must decide how scoring will be implemented into the application process, however. They will either be scored on a pass/fail basis, by numeric scoring, meets/exceeds expectations, or a combination of the methods.

The Gaming Commission staff suggest a combination of the methods, which would then necessitate further oral interviews or written responses to commission questions.

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