Massachusetts Gaming Commission Awards First Retail Sports Betting License

Written By Giovanni Shorter on December 9, 2022
Mass. sports betting

After two consecutive meetings that ended in differing of votes, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) awarded a sports betting license. Encore Boston Harbor, in partnership with WynnBET, was approved unanimously by the MGC to gain the first retail sports betting license in the state. The other Mass sports betting licenses will be voted on likely next week.

Encore Boston Harbor / WynnBET Granted Mass Sports Betting License

The Encore Boston Harbor casino will now build a WynneBET retail sportsbook at its location. The commission was pleased with Encore Harbor’s presentation and felt the company met the criteria for sports betting.

The MGC took issue with both BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook’s applications at the previous meetings. Barstool in particular was held up by concerns over CEO Dave Portnoy. Encore was able to actually see a vote and be granted its license.

“This is great for the Commonwealth,” said Jordan Maynard, MGC member following the vote.

Unlike the other two applications, the Commission was able to gain all of its information from Encore without the need for additional information. The commission supported that Encore Boston Harbor would be the representative of the license and not WynnBET which is simply a sports betting partner. This was the concern the MGM Springfield and BetMGM application had for the commission.

When Will Sports Betting Launch?

The Encore Harbor location will be able to go live in late January or early February. Lawmakers want Massachusetts sportsbooks to go live in time for the Super Bowl. Retail operators will launch first as online is targeting a March launch.

During next week’s hearings, the MGC hopes to vote on the remaining two retail sportsbook applications. Once retail is in order the commission will shift its attention to online and mobile sportsbooks.

Encore will build the WynnBET Sportsbook at the current WynneBET Sports Bar. It will convert the location into a betting lounge and is aiming to have 29 sports betting kiosks available on launch. There will also be an additional 10 sports betting windows available. The sportsbook will be within walking distance from the casino floor.

The casino plans to expand the parking garage in anticipation of the expanded sports betting area. Encore will be working on the sportsbook in the weeks leading to launch.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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