Potential sports betting in Massachusetts will be able to participate in online sports betting just before the start of the March Madness Tournament. Karen Wells, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, revealed on Thursday that up to 11 digital sports betting platforms will be launching in the state at 10:00 AM on March 10th.
What Sportsbooks Will Be Able to the Public?
Selection Sunday will take place on the 12th, and the mobile sports betting launch will happen two days before that. The MGC (Massachusetts Gaming Commission) has granted initial approval to the following companies for their sports betting operations: Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Betr, Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Fanatics, and WynnBet.
The staff is aiming to finalize the approved licensing by the 23rd of this month. However, Betway will not be launching on time because the bookmaker was acquired by Super Group, which could slow down its approval process and ability to start on time.
Retail sports betting has already had a head start in the Bay State, which began on January 31st. However, the brick-and-mortar sports wagering operation didn’t get off to a smooth start as the sportsbooks at the Encore and Plainridge Park offered banned markets. The incident is currently being reviewed by the MGC’s Investigations Enforcement Bureau.
Prohibited Markets in Massachusetts
As the law states, in-state collegiate betting is illegal, but there is one exception to the rule. It is when the in-state programs play in tournaments like March Madness and NIT.
During a meeting held earlier this week, it was disclosed that wagers were made at Plainridge Park Casino on a men’s basketball game featuring Merrimack College and at Encore on a women’s basketball game featuring Boston College. In both scenarios, the violations were self-reported
Also discussed was a “cooling-off period” that will be part of the responsible gaming program. On top of that, the Commission has discussed adding to advertisement rules on gambling in the state. New York is the catalyst of this movement, as one percent of people in the state could be affected by problem gaming.
Problem gambling has been on the rise, and many states across the industry have begun to take notice. Some jurisdictions that are currently in their respective legislative sessions are studying other markets and trying to add new advertisement measures to their sports betting bills to ensure responsible gaming, and putting extra concerns on words like “risk-free.”
What Are the Projection Estimates for the State?
Massachusetts will be the biggest market in the specific region. Considering New Hampshire has a 51 percent tax rate, 20 percent is not too bad for online sportsbooks in the Bay State.
Projections by state legislators estimate that the legalization of sports betting will bring in an annual revenue of $60 million to the state.