MGC Chooses Jan. 31 For Retail Launch In Massachusetts

Written By Giovanni Shorter on December 27, 2022
Massachusetts sports betting

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) now has a targeted launch date for retail sportsbooks in Massachusetts. Operators will go live on Jan. 31 barring any unforeseen setbacks. This comes on the heels of the MGC awarding retail licenses to Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield in recent weeks. Massachusetts sports betting is on its way to being a reality.

Retail Sportsbook Launch Date In Massachusetts

The Jan. 31 launch date is in line with the targeted timeline for the Massachusetts sports betting launch. The MGC wanted retail live in time for Super Bowl 57 with the target for online sportsbooks to be live in time for March Madness. A March launch window is still the target for online sportsbooks in Massachusetts.

The MGC plan to begin testing sports betting software on Jan. 16 to ensure all operations are in order. There will be a soft launch on Jan. 30 where bettors can wager ahead of the official date. Then, Jan. 31 will kickstart the new market in full.

Massachusetts lawmakers haven’t finished issuing out licenses either. Several online licenses have been approved by the MGC with more to come. The launch of retail will allow the MGC to shift full focus on bringing the online market to residents.

Sportsbooks Incoming In Massachusetts

Currently, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, and WynnBET have received tethered online licenses in Massachusetts. This means these operators will launch mobile betting in conjunction with a retail operator.

WynnBET and Caesars are both partnered with Encore Boston Harbor. BetMGM is tethered to MGM Springfield. It is likely that Barstool Sportsbook will gain its tethered license with Plainridge Park Casino, however, there have been some setbacks.

Both Plainridge Park and Barstool are under Penn National Gaming. Penn National only received a temporary license for Plainridge Park due to concerns over Barstool’s involvement. Barstool Sportsbook’s CEO Dave Portnoy is a controversial figure who raises concerns for the MGC.

Penn National plans to fully acquire Barstool Sportsbook in 2023. Lawmakers wish to revisit Barstool’s application after the acquisition. A full investigation by the Massachusetts Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) is slated once the deal is complete.

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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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