After months of uncertainty, Massachusetts will offer some type of sports betting for those that reside in the state. Although the launch date for the mobile sports wagering market is unknown, the in-person side of the business is set to launch on January 31st, 2023.
The Bay State Will Finally Join the Industry
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met on Thursday to discuss matters and approved the start date. For the operation to run smoothly, some things need to be in place before the date arrives, as Encore Boston Harbor (WynnBET), Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool Sportsbook), and MGM Springfield (BetMGM) will be launching.
Kiosks will be tested weeks before the launch, and certificates will be awarded later. A soft launch will take one day before the full-operational launch. Even though the mobile sportsbooks will have to wait a few more months for their opportunity, this is a huge win for the market.
The Super Bowl is set to take place on February 12th, which is one of the biggest events of the year. The Commission has discussed working on the mobile aspect. Bettors can use platforms to place wagers on March Madness if online sportsbooks launch in early March.
A Few Issues Came Up During the Process
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has a few members that work on cases that relate to the sports betting push. Nakisha Skinner, one of the commissioners, planned to attend the soft launch, but she will be unavailable on January 30th. Before Thursday’s meeting, she informed the group of her unavailability.
Despite this, other key members, like Executive Director Karen Wells and MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein, were unaware of the plans. Skinner requested for the “soft launch” date to be changed, but Judd-Stein declined the request. Someone else will be designated to attend the launch.
Regardless of the situation, two major markets will be joining the industry in 2023. On New Year’s Day, Ohio will join the industry via a universal launch. This means both in-person and online sportsbooks will launch on the same day.
The sports betting bill in the Bay State was signed into law pretty quickly, and the retail market will launch six months after the historic event. Earlier in the process, there was a lot of uncertainty as many lawmakers were getting ready to try again during the 2023 legislative session. However, Massachusetts will make history as one of the fastest jurisdictions to bring sports betting to their respective state.
This is a Big Win For the State
Massachusetts will be the second state to launch in 2023 and will finally be able to take wagers soon. Even though the state is unlikely to reach its full potential during the early stages, online sports betting will be a part of the state in two to three months.
Bettors across the state will no longer have to travel to neighboring states to place wagers. Mobile sports betting has become a major success in Maryland’s market, and the Bay State is following suit, but a lot quicker in regards to time.