The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met on Thursday to discuss the sports betting timeline. On the agenda was confirming that sportsbooks in Massachusetts need to submit a scoping survey. The survey is to be submitted by Monday, October 17 at 5 p.m.
This was only one aspect of the latest meeting on the future of Massachusetts sports betting.
What Is Next For Massachusetts Sports Betting
The meeting lasted for several hours where lawmakers discussed many aspects of the forthcoming market. Currently, the goal is to see retail sportsbooks live by January with online sportsbooks live by early March. Initially, a target for online sportsbooks to be live in time for the Super Bowl.
This was an aggressive timeline and lawmakers realized this is unlikely. The goal now is to make sure at least retail sportsbooks are live ahead of SB57 with online being live in time for the NCAAB March Madness Tournament.
In the meeting, commission members discussed working with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI). This corporation will aid in bringing the sports betting market to Bay State. They specialize in testing and work with regulators in over 480 jurisdictions. The MGC will use GLI to implement the market safely.
Of the scoping surveys, the commission has seen submissions from five operators. The commission will evaluate the surveys to determine which Massachusetts sportsbook will be granted approved applications.
With the goal of narrowing down over 40 applicants to seven untethered sportsbooks, lawmakers are looking at ways to save time. Commissioners during the meeting discussed not spending time focused on reviewing applicants unlikely to be granted a license.
“I do understand doing a full deep dive on applicants who might never rise to those top seven is a waste of resources for the commonwealth,” said Jordan Maynard of the MGC.
Sports Betting Kiosks Push?
While lawmakers discuss betting licenses, local restaurants and bars are looking to get in on the action. These local businesses are aiming to see sportsbooks in Massachusetts via sports betting kiosks. This is not uncommon for sports betting states to see betting kiosks at locations such as these.
“The most important thing to all the bars and restaurants is the commission following through with their obligation to do a study before the end of the year to see the viability of gaming kiosks in bars and restaurants,” said Bill Stetson, owner of Rumbleseat Bar & Grille in Chicopee, to Western Mass News.
Local Massachusetts businesses could be another element of betting licenses that are given out by the commission. The MGC has so far not focused on betting kiosks, however.