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Massachusetts receives 15 applications for sports betting licenses as deadline passes


The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has completed the application process for new sports betting licenses in the state, with 15 operators having put forward submissions.

The deadline to apply for a license passed at 2pm local time on November 21, with the MGC receiving three applications for Category 1 licenses, five for a Category 3 license tethered to a Category 1 license, and six were received for stand-alone Category 3 licenses.

An additional Category 3 license application to be tethered to a Category 2 license was also submitted, while the MGC noted that Category 2 licenses, which only current horse tracks or simulcast facilities are eligible for, will be accepted on a rolling basis after the deadline.

Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino all applied for Category 1 operator licenses. These permits allow holders to operate in-person sports betting at their properties as well as on up to two online platforms. Any online platforms attached to a Category 1 license must be licensed as Category 3 operators.

According to the MGC, Encore Boston Harbor intends to run two online betting platforms in partnership with both WynnBet and Caesars Sportsbook, while Plainridge Park Casino will also operate two platforms with Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook.

MGM Springfield indicated it will focus on a solitary online platform that will be operated in partnership with BetMGM.

Meanwhile, Bally Bet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet all applied for the Category 3, standalone operator licenses, in addition to those operators that put forward submission for licenses tethered to Category 1 applications.

Category 3 licenses will allow holders to offer sports wagering in Massachusetts through an online platform, without being partnered with a land-based venue in the state. The MGC may issue up to seven Category 3 licenses, not including those tethered to Category 1 applications.

The MGC said it intends to award licences in the coming weeks, with the aim of launching in-person betting at Category 1 establishments in January 2023 and online wagering in March.

In terms of Category 2 licenses, while the MGC said it is yet to receive any applications for these permits, Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs, the only two entities eligible for these licenses, indicated that while they intend to apply.

However, the MGC also said neither venue is prepared to begin offering in-person sports wagering by January 2023.

Raynham Park told the MGC that when it does apply for a license, it will do so in partnership with Bet365. In order for a Category 3 operator tethered to a Category 2 license, the latter of these permits must be awarded.

The MGC confirmed Bet365 applied ahead of this week’s deadline.