The long-awaited Massachusetts sports betting launch date could be set on Thursday, October 6. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will vote on said date, finally giving a timeline on the market. Votes will be made on both the retail launch as well as the online launch. Retail sportsbooks are likely to go live first based on operator feedback.
Massachusetts Betting Timeline
Setting the launch dates for sports betting will bring the Bay State closer to a fully realized sports betting market. The MGC has been deliberating with very little advancement towards setting a launch since the regulations were signed into law. The opening of sportbooks in Massachusetts has been stagnant due to the issue of temporary licenses.
The commission has met with local sportsbooks and has internally debated the issue of temporary licenses. The MGC would allow more temporary betting licenses than permanent licenses allow, leading to sportsbooks being forced to shut down after a year if they are not granted permanent licenses. This has been universally disapproved by operators and experts.
This issue will likely persist until some consensus on the matter is decided. Additionally, the commission and operators debated allowing retail betting to go live ahead of online sportsbooks. The majority of operators were in favor of this decision.
MGC Pushes Ahead
While appearing to be moving slowly in terms of advancing towards a launch, the MGC has been working consistently. The commission recently revealed the milestones they have made since sports betting was legalized. The retail and online sportsbook launch date will be another milestone to add to the list.
Discussing the launches and the ultimate vote are on the official meeting agenda. Massachusetts could target a launch ahead of Super Bowl 57 as many markets tend to launch either before the NFL season or ahead of the Big Game.
MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein spoke at a recent forum where she confirmed that more information regarding the launch will be revealed during Thursday’s upcoming meeting. The wheels are turning for Massachusetts as sports betting appears to be on the horizon.