The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) approved more sportsbook licenses this week. Earlier BetMGM was approved alongside MGM Springfield to offer mobile and retail sports betting. Now Caesars Sportsbook and Plainridge Park have been granted mobile sportsbook licenses and retail licenses respectively. Massachusetts sports betting is progressing toward the launch.
More Sportsbooks Coming To Massachusetts
Caesars Sportsbook was denied a vote initially as lawmakers deemed they needed more information from the operator. During the second presentation, Caesars was able to provide the needed info and earn an unanimous favorable vote to operate in the Bay State.
Caesars was granted a Category 3 tethered online sports betting license. This sees the sportsbook operate through its partnership with Encore Boston Harbor. WynnBET, who was granted the first mobile sports betting license by the MGC, is also partnered with Encore Harbor.
The tethered license will allow Caesars Sportsbook to offer odds statewide. This also allows the popular sportsbook to avoid competing for untethered licenses. These are sportsbook operators not partnered with retail sportsbooks.
Caesars, WynnBET, and BetMGM are the current holders of mobile sports betting licenses in Massachusetts. The commission approved all three of these operators in just two weeks showing progress is being made.
Retail License Approvals
Plainridge Park was granted the second retail license in Massachusetts. The Penn National-owned casino was initially questioned by the MGC due to its relationship with Barstool Sportsbook. Barstool’s controversial CEO Dave Portnoy raised concerns for the commission. Ultimately, the MGC granted a temporary sports betting license to Plainridge Park
During their presentation, Penn National officials agreed to certain conditions set by the commission. Penn is scheduled to fully acquire Barstool in February 2022. Following this acquisition, an investigation headed by the Massachusetts Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) will take place of the company.
The MGC also requires Barstool to raise the age of audience members for its college football show to 21 years or older. the concern of underage bettors being advertised to is a major issue for MGC members.
Penn National officials spent the presentation explaining that Barstool is a marketing partner and holds no power over Penn National or Plainridge Park Casino. Many commissioners showed concern over the marketing partnership as well.
For now, Plainridge Park will be able to host odds in the Old Bay State through this temporary Massachusetts sports betting license. The process for Plainridge is not over, however.