Massachusetts Sports Betting Regulators Stay On Course For January

Written By Derek Helling on October 28, 2022
january massachusetts sports betting march apps

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is moving ahead with its task of approving license applications and rules for legal Massachusetts sports betting. One company that makes its headquarters within the state would prefer they press forward in a different fashion, however.

In their latest meeting, commissioners voted to approve a section of the draft regulations governing sportsbook license application reviews. In addition, they discussed a plea to reverse an earlier decision that come from within Boston‘s borders.

Massachusetts sports betting keeps early 2023 targets

After hours of discussion about proposed regulations for sports wagering license applications, the MGC took action on a couple of matters on Thursday. The latter of those two was a letter from DraftKings, which makes its home in Boston.

In the correspondence, DraftKings asked the MGC to reconsider its decision to authorize the launches of brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks separately. DraftKings stated its preference for a universal start date for all licensees earlier this year.

DraftKings does not currently have a retail component in the state. It plans to only take bets online in Massachusetts. DraftKings has argued the state allowing its competitors that plan to take wagers both in-person and online to get their physical sportsbooks open in advance amounts to giving those competitors an unfair advantage.

While the discussion acknowledged the point that DraftKings made, the commissioners felt that they had already considered DraftKings’ stance and the letter presented no new information to cause them to reconsider the staggered format.

As a result, the MGC affirmed its target dates of the end of January for retail betting and the beginning of March for online betting. That means Massachusetts bettors might be able to visit casinos and race tracks to bet on Super Bowl LVII in person.

The MGC also took a step toward getting licenses approved for those sportsbooks on Thursday as well.

MGC approves section of draft regulations

The commissioners discussed most of the draft rules on Thursday but did actually hold a vote to approve one section. 205 CMR 218 governs requirements for applications, a completeness review, and the decision process on applications.

The vote was unanimous in favor of approval. MGC members discussed potentially approving the balance of the draft rules in their next meeting, currently set for Nov. 10. Full approval of all the regulations for license consideration would allow the commissioners and their consultants to begin the necessary work.

Partially to DraftKings’ chagrin, the start of legal Massachusetts sports betting remains on pace for late January.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of Playin USA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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