Massachusetts sports betting begins at the state’s three commercial casinos next Tuesday, Jan. 31. But before the first legal sports bets in the commonwealth can be wagered at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park, state gaming regulators needed to formally sign off on the governing conditions.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) this week approved its Sports Wagering Events Catalog. The document details what sports the state’s licensed sportsbooks can and cannot take action on.
The catalog allows Massachusetts sportsbooks to offer odds on professional sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. Most college sports are also permitted, but games involving Massachusetts-based schools are prohibited unless the event is part of a tournament with a minimum of four teams participating.
The MGC opted to hold off on allowing sportsbooks to take action on more offbeat sports such as cornhole and chess. The state also decided to consider Olympics betting at a later time. The next Olympics is the 2024 Summer Games in Tokyo.
Casino Sportsbooks Prepped
Massachusetts is allowing sports betting to first begin in-person at the state’s casinos. The WynnBet Sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor, BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Springfield, and Barstool Sportsbook at Plainridge Park are ready for their first retail bettors next week.
The MGC confirmed that each casino sportsbook will have staffed betting windows and self-service wagering kiosks. Encore told the MGC it has 118 sportsbook kiosks throughout its property.
MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park have far fewer sports betting kiosks. BetMGM says its sportsbook has eight kiosks, while Barstool has 20 self-service wagering machines.
The Jan. 31 launch of in-person betting comes in time for the Feb. 12 Super Bowl. But bettors will miss out on this weekend’s NFC and AFC championship games.
Bet365 Terminates Partnership
Bet365, a privately held sportsbook operator based in the UK, is licensed in Colorado, New Jersey, and Ohio. The sportsbook had previously announced its intentions to seek market entry in Massachusetts through a partnership with Raynham Park.
Massachusetts’ sports betting law allows the state’s two former racetracks — Suffolk Downs and Raynham — to pursue Category 1 sportsbook licenses. The sports betting category allows the tracks to operate a retail sportsbook and two online sportsbook platforms.
Bet365 last November announced a partnership with Raynham to use one of its two online skins. George Carney, the owner of Raynham, said he was “thrilled” to partner with one of the world’s largest sportsbook operators “to offer this high-demand entertainment to our customers.”
But after Carney and Caesars Sportsbook announced a separate deal this week, Bet365 folded. The company said it will no longer seek approval to become a part of Raynham’s Category 1 license.
Carney said Caesars Sportsbook will serve as Raynham’s in-person sports betting partner. Caesars Sportsbook won’t utilize one of the former greyhound track’s online betting opportunities as the sportsbook is already a part of the Encore Boston Harbor Category 1 license.
While WynnBet will run Encore’s in-person wagering, Wynn Resorts previously agreed with Caesars to extend its Massachusetts license to its rival’s online sportsbook platform.
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