Massachusetts took its first step towards legalized online gambling yesterday with retail sports betting now available in the State. The market was officially opened at 10 am on January 31st, with three major venues welcoming sports bettors for the first time. This follows sports betting being passed into law in the state in August 2022.
The deadline to apply for a license in Massachusetts was back on November 21st. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) received 15 license requests before the deadline passed. This consisted of three Category 1 applications, five Category 3 licenses connected with a Category 1 license, and six individual Category 3 licenses. Category 1 holders will now be able to offer retail sports betting.
The first Category 1 license was given to Wynn’s Resort Encore Boston Harbor in December. This license also permits companies to provide up to two online sports-betting platforms. Online operators with a Category 1 license will also need to have a Category 3 license.
Encore Boston Harbor was also the first venue to welcome sports bettors in the state. On the morning of the launch, residents, famous faces, and local lawmakers were all invited to the venue to place their bets. The other two venues that can offer sport vetting are the MGM Springfield, and the Plainridge Park Casino.
The launch of sports betting in Massachusetts could not have not come at a better time. The Super Bowl, the biggest sports event in the US, takes place in a little under two weeks and is expected to rake in millions in sports bets across the country. This is the first time bettors in Massachusetts will have the chance to legally bet on the big game.
Online and mobile sports betting is also going to become legal in the state very soon. This is scheduled to happen in March, though, there is no exact date set. Regulators are expecting a lot of interest in the state from operators when this launches, with plenty of major names already expressing their intentions. DraftKings is one of the most notable names to have already been approved to provide a mobile sports-betting app in the state.
There are also plans for a Caesars-operated sportsbook at Raynham Park in the state. This 60,000-square-foot facility will have a 38,000-square-foot sportsbook space. The owner of the park intends to make it one of the biggest sports-betting venues in the United States.
Early estimates predict a lot of benefits for Massachusetts. It is expected that the state will bring in more than $60 million a year through taxes on sports betting. It will also be looking at the early success of the Ohio market as a positive sign of things to come.