Dec 13, 2022 - News

Massachusetts mobile sports betting licenses may be on the way

Illustration of the football, money tongue, and basketball emojis.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Gaming regulators could start to green light companies for mobile sports betting licenses as soon as today.

Driving the news: Regulators today begin a series of individualized meetings to review applications for mobile sports betting companies seeking licenses tethered to casinos.

  • WynnBET and Caesars Sportsbook are seeking licenses tethered to Encore Boston Harbor.
  • BetMGM seeks a license tethered to MGM Springfield.
  • Penn Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook seek licenses tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

Why it matters: If approved, these companies would be the first mobile sports operators in Massachusetts, marking another step toward the state's efforts to legalize the industry.

  • State lawmakers projected earlier this year the new industry would bring in at least $60 million a year in tax revenue, as well as $70 million or more in licensing fees every five years.

Of note: The regulators are approving licenses on a temporary basis while the state vets applicants for permanent licensure.

Catch up fast: Regulators approved the first in-person betting license to Encore Boston Harbor last week.

  • The Everett casino and other in-person operators can start accepting wagers sometime before the Super Bowl.
  • Mobile sports books, including those tethered to Encore, will start taking bets around early March, per regulators.

What's next: Regulators are still debating whether to tax or restrict free bets used for promotions, which were not addressed in the bill Gov. Charlie Baker signed this summer.

  • They discussed the implications in yesterday's meeting, but held off on any votes.

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