Encore Boston Harbor

  • All five Massachusetts gaming facilities are stating their readiness to launch sportsbooks.
  • Before this happens, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission must publish a final set of rules.

Hoping to have the Notice of Intent Regarding License for Sports Wagering finished by the end of the month, Massachusetts gaming facilities are pushing for an exact timeline to prepare their sportsbooks’ launches.

Three casinos and two simulcast facilities are eligible to offer sports betting, per the terms of the Massachusetts sports betting bill signed by Governor Charlie Baker earlier in August.

As of Tuesday, a timeline isn’t set but the form will help the Massachusetts Gaming Commission understand the interests in licensing amongst operators.

All five establishments seem to be on board with MGM Springfield claiming to be ready to launch within 90 days of the final posted regulations. Likewise, Encore Boston Harbor stated their readiness to start hiring, as soon as the timeline is clear.

Hiring The Chief

On Sep 8, a MGC meeting should progress this forward, after a presentation on the regulatory framework.

As this happens, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hire a “Chief of the Sports Wagering Division“. This role will head the implementation and regulation on legal sports betting in Mass. while also be responsible for operational and admin functions.

With over 200 rules and standards to adopt, this is set to happen “no fewer than 90 days”, per Cathy Judd-Stein.

The position will come with immediate questions from the five locations – Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino, Raynham Park, and Suffolk Downs. All have situations of their own to consider.

For example, at Plainridge Park Casino, those betting on horse racing can do so at 18. Yet, the Massachusetts sports betting age is set at 21. What would be the process for controlling or policing the sports betting kiosks that are near the horse track?

Another focus will be on the ability for a drive-in sportsbook like an old school movie theatre. The idea, brought forth by Encore, would have sports betting kiosks located in the parking garage.

These are only some of the questions but Massachusetts sports betting fans are sure to see advancement soon. In a perfect world, Massachusetts sportsbooks could launch before the CFP. But, a launch before the Super Bowl seems more likely.

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