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Massachusetts regulator awards first sports betting license to Encore Boston Harbor


Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor has become the first operator to secure a new sports betting license from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

The Category 1 Sports Wagering Operator license will allow Encore to operate in-person sports betting at its casino property, as well as on up to two online platforms.

Encore must now secure a certificate of operations and meet additional conditions in order to launch sports betting.

In addition, any online platforms attached to a Category 1 license must also be licensed as Category 3 operators, though the MGC is yet to issue any of the latter. The MGC previously said that Encore Boston Harbor intends to run two online betting platforms in partnership with WynnBet and Caesars Sportsbook.

The MGC had set a goal of launching retail sports wagering at the three casinos in the state that eligible for Category 1 sports wagering licenses by January.

Last month, the MGC revealed 15 operators had put forward submissions for sports betting licenses.

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.

Aside from Encore, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino also applied for Category 1 operator licenses. Plainridge Park Casino intends to operate two platforms with Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook, and MGM Springfield indicated will focus on a solitary online platform that will be operated in partnership with BetMGM.

Bally Bet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel Group and PointsBet all applied for Category 3 standalone operator licenses, which would allow them to offer sports wagering through an online platform, without being partnered with a land-based venue in the state.

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.

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 will host a meeting on December 12 regarding the five applications for Category 3 licenses tethered to casino.