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Regulators, however, were still working through BetMGM’s app on Monday night.

Last updated on December 19, 2022 at 7:56 PM ET
Reading time: 2 minutes

A second license to offer in-person sports betting in Massachusetts was finally approved on Monday, marking further progress toward the launch of legal event betting in the Bay State.

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) initially began reviewing MGM Springfield’s sports betting license application earlier this month. However, that process was stymied by the casino’s ties with BetMGM, which will be the facility’s retail and mobile betting partner.

Massachusetts sports betting law allows both retail and online sports betting sites, although both forms of betting require separate licenses to offer them. MGM Springfield was applying for a so-called “Category 1” license, which allows in-person sports betting at the facility and via two digital platforms, the latter of which requires a “Category 3” license to operate.

The company you keep

MGM Springfield’s filing said it “intends to offer its sports betting product in close collaboration with BetMGM,” a joint venture between MGM Resorts International (the operator of MGM Springfield) and Entain PLC. Gaming commission members initially delayed the decision so they could get more information.

The casino submitted a supplemental submission to its application, which MGC members then reviewed on Monday, and MGM Springfield included sections to try to assuage regulators’ concerns.

“MGMS is excited to bring BetMGM on board as its sports betting service provider,” the updated app reads. “However, all final decisions regarding retail sports betting will be at the sole and absolute discretion of MGMS.”

First class idea

Monday’s progress means there are now three sports betting licenses approved in Massachusetts, two for casino sports betting and one for mobile sports betting through WynnBET. MGC hopes to launch sports betting in casinos in late January and online sportsbooks in early March.

That schedule appears to still be intact, at least for now. However, Bay State game commissioners have been very thorough in their submissions and have delayed several decisions to give them time to get more information.

Although MGM Springfield commissioners and representatives spent hours going over the details of the application and asking and answering questions about sports betting at the casino, in the end, MGC decided that their expectations were met. Members of the MGC have determined that MGM Springfield meets the criteria and is suitable for a Category 1 licence.

Like its peers, MGM Springfield intends to offer customers both betting and viewing options. According to its filing, the company behind the casino has built “a world-class sports betting hall with stadium seating, a 45-foot viewing wall, as well as an indoor betting counter and betting booth space.”

Meanwhile, BetMGM hopes to have it on the Massachusetts market as soon as possible.

Commissioners went into closed-door, executive session regarding the bookmaker’s application at around 7pm ET. On Monday. The controllers were still working through the app when this story was published.

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