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Massachusetts asks prospective operators to submit notice of intent form


Newly-empowered state regulator the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has released a notice of intent form, asking that any operators interested in applying for a sports betting license complete the document by 31 August 2022.

In a statement accompanying the release of the form, the MGC said that the notice of intent does not serve as an application for a sports wagering license and that a failure to apply does not preclude an organization from applying at a future date.

The MGC stated that the form was to help the agency build a picture of the degree of interest it might expect in licensure:

“As the MGC continues to work to regulate and stand-up sports wagering in Massachusetts, the MGC is requesting that any entity interested in obtaining a sports wagering license to submit this Notice of Intent so a landscape of interest in sports wagering licenses can come into focus.”

The announcement follows the 10 August news that state governor Charlie Baker had signed the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Act into law, legalizing sports betting in the state, as well as appointing the MGC as the overseer of the new regulated market.

In addition to seven online-only licenses, casino or racetrack operators in the state will be allowed to apply for a sports betting license. Both types of license require a $5m (£4.23m/ €5m) fee as part of the application process.

The law also established two different taxation regimes –with online betting taxed at 20% and retail at 15%. While bettors will be permitted to wager on a wide range of events, including most types college football, an exception is carved out in the law banning betting on matches involving in-state teams.

A committee of members from the Massachusetts state house and senate agreed to the final rules in a photo finish that saw only hours left in the legislative session.

Commissioners from the MGC have warned that the launch of sports betting in the state is “going to take some time.”

Commissioner Bradford Hill stated: “If we are going to do this right, we need to take our time a little bit,” he said. “I’ve seen some folks in the newspaper that hope to have this up and running in a very short amount of time, and I just want the public to know that in my view – and this is my view, not necessarily that of the Commission – this is going to take a little bit longer.

“And I’m okay with that, because I want to do it right. I think the public needs to understand that this is quite a process we need to go through.”