The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) held a meeting on Thursday, October 6, to discuss a timeline to launch legal Massachusetts sports betting. Lawmakers displayed an aggressive timeline, targeting a February start date. The goal is to see online sportsbooks in Massachusetts live in time to bet on Super Bowl 57.
While this timeframe is optimistic, this shows that the commission is looking to launch the market soon. Lawmakers are getting closer to a specific launch date for the Mass sports betting market.
Massachusetts Sportsbooks Early 2023?
The meeting saw commission members display a timeline with the goal of launching sports betting. Retail sportsbooks would launch in January with online sportsbooks going live in February. These targeted dates are contingent on a few measures.
Commission members came to the consensus that it is not possible for sports betting to launch in 2022. While this timeline is a target, these dates are not set in stone. The MGC still has several steps before locals could see a sports betting market go live.
Lawmakers would need to immediately approve the sports betting applications blueprint. Potential operators would also need to have applications submitted within 30 days. An emergency authorization process would also be needed in order to meet these targeted dates.
The MGC would see dozens of applications, a potential 35 applicants according to Karen Wells of the MGC. Tireless work would need to occur for lawmakers to launch online sportsbooks ahead of the Super Bowl.
Will They Meet The Timeline?
The timeframe is understandably an optimistic goal for the commission. At a minimum, retail sportsbooks could be live in time for the Super Bowl with online sportsbooks still up in the air. MGC member Brad Hill specifically stated that no later than March should be the target for online sportsbooks in Massachusetts to go live.
“I want this to be up by the NCAA’s in March,” said Hill.
Lawmakers still need to push a survey for operators, approve regulations, and await public comment. These processes take days that would all delay an official date. Lawmakers deliberated for several hours to determine the sportsbook launch process.
As the MGC continues to deliberate, Massachusetts residents can look at the timeline as a potential launch window. Massachusetts is moving closer to hosting an official launch date for sports betting.