Massachusetts online sportsbooks took a giant step towards launch. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has approved six untethered sportsbook licenses for online operators. Those approved include Bally’s, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet. In addition to the already approved tethered licenses, the Bay State is on track for the targeted March launch.
Massachusetts Takes Another Step Towards Online Launch
The MGC approved these operators during the January 19 meeting. The commission debated and voted on each operator that was under discussion over the recent weeks. These operators will be able to launch once the Massachusetts market officially goes live.
As untethered operators, this means these sportsbooks can offer odds in the Bay State without being partnered with a retail casino. Each of the licensed operators were approved unanimously except for Betr which saw a ‘NAY’ vote from commissioner Eileen O’Brien.
O’Brien’s concern over Betr comes from its association with Jake Paul and his social media influence skewing towards a younger audience.
“I have concerns about the demographic and the tying of a sports celebrity to a group that’s in that vulnerable age group,” said O’Brien about her vote. “I wish we were seeing this applicant a little later on down the road, and for those reasons I’m nay.”
Even with the vote against it, Betr is an approved Massachusetts online sportsbook that can go live. Like the other operators, this is a temporary betting license that can become a permanent one in the future.
License Approvals Only Temporary
The temporary license structure allows the commission to speed up the process for the launch. This is a common tactic used in most markets as they launch sports betting. Temporary MA sports betting licenses are likely to become full licenses for Massachusetts online sportsbooks as they do in other markets.
The commission will use the launch window to examine each operator and the market early on and finalize details in the process. Fans will have full access to these sportsbooks and have little risk of the operators closing after they go live. This was an early concern for operators with the commission.
Sports betting is on the timeline to go fully live by early March. Local fans can rejoice as the countdown begins for the Massachusetts market.