The gaming regulator for the American state of Massachusetts reportedly held an emergency meeting late last week where it resolved to launch retail sportsbetting at the jurisdiction’s three commercial casinos from ‘late January’.
According to a Friday report from local television broadcaster WBZ-TV, the move from the five-member Massachusetts Gaming Commission could now well see the eastern state’s MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and slots-only Plainridge Park Casino properties roll out in-person sportsbetting in time for Super Bowl LVI, which is scheduled to take place on February 13.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker reportedly signed legislation into law about nine weeks ago that saw ‘The Bay State’ become the latest American jurisdiction to legalize retail and online sportsbetting following the 2018 revocation of the federal prohibition that had been contained within the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has purportedly been using the intervening period to formulate the specific rules and processes for those firms who may wish to enter the territory’s coming sports wagering market.
In an attempt to get this sector up and running in a timely manner and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has now reportedly resolved to use an initial licensing process that is less detailed than the system already employed for the state’s casino market. However, the regulator is to purportedly moreover exploit a sunset clause that will see it utilize a more stringent certification process after September of next year.
Despite this progress and WBZ-TV reported that no firm date for the launch of retail sportsbetting was agreed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The initial plan to go live from January 29 was purportedly scuppered by the fact that this date is to additionally feature the National Football League’s two championship games, which are to decide the competitors for Super Bowl LVI.
Sterl Carpenter serves as the Regulatory Compliance Manager for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and he reportedly asserted that launching retail sportsbetting on January 29 would lead to a tremendous rush of bettors ‘that would actually be extremely volatile’. This purportedly prompted the regulator to consider alternative dates including January 18 and January 26 although it subsequently broke up before reaching an ultimate consensus.
For fans of online sportsbetting and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reportedly used last week’s meeting to furthermore agree that remote operations should be allowed to go live in ‘early March’ although it delayed specifying any timeline for the state’s pair of simulcasting venues as it awaits more information. Nevertheless, this former aim could purportedly be complicated by the fact that the 2023 edition of the widely popular NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is colloquially known as ‘March Madness’, is set to take place over the three weeks from March 14.