Bettors across Massachusetts should be excited that sports betting is finally coming to the Bay State as a deal was struck in the early hours of Monday at 5 am. However, like in other markets, the operation will take time to come together.
Massachusetts Will Have a Sports Betting Market
After months of uncertainty until the very last minute, the House and Senate were able to compromise on a few things. Taxes, college wagering, and betting advertisements were some of the main issues that prolonged the whole process.
However, with all that being said, a bill will be sent to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk to sign the initiative into law. Numerous members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission stated that while they understand that having a legalized market is a big step forward, the excitement will have to be tempered for the time being.
The reason behind that statement is the launch may take longer than anticipated. This is a normal procedure as many things have to be in place for the launch to go smoothly.
For example, Kansas’ market will most likely not be launched by the NFL season. Another example is lawmakers in Ohio who wanted to launch the market by the NFL but will officially launch on January 1, 2023.
When Could the Sports Betting Market Launch in the Bay State?
Many lawmakers want the business venture to launch as soon as possible. Sen. Eric Lesser wants the market to launch by October, but it could be a difficult deadline to meet in such a short time.
A sample timeline included in the meeting materials suggests that the competitive mobile licenses should be awarded within five months, as the commission pointed out. Only seven of the 15 potential mobile licenses will be a competitive bid which means retail sportsbooks can launch at a different time.
The Governor still has to sign the bill into law so that the commission can get to work on this process. Just like Ohio, legal sports betting could start in 2023 as the procedure could take a long time.
Some lawmakers want the operation to begin as soon as possible as the last quarter of every year drives up the average betting volume, with the NFL bringing in the most wagers.
Can Fenway Host a Retail Sportsbook as they Await to Extend Partnerships?
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and is going to this opportunity to find an exclusive or non-exclusive partnership after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission selects the operators.
The no advertisement ban is a huge win for the organization as it has partnerships with MGM Resorts via casino and DraftKings for daily fantasy. Once the operators are selected, the Red Sox could construct a sportsbook-branded lounge to attract more fans in the future with the ultimate fan experience.
Gambling education will also be necessary for the players and anyone involved with the team, as the MLB prohibits wagering on and across the field. This is a huge step forward as teams in New York have already pursued partnerships with reputable sportsbook brands like FanDuel, Caesars, and most recently, Bally Bet.