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Massachusetts’ sports betting market launches


Category 1 license holders can officially offer retail sports betting in Massachusetts from today (January 31), with mobile wagering to follow in March.

Sports betting was officially signed into law in August last year by then-Governor Charlie Baker.

After the 21 November deadline to apply for licenses passed, the MGC revealed that 15 operators had submitted applications. Initially, 29 operators expressed an interest in applying.

This consisted of three applications for Category 1 licenses, five applications for Category 3 licences connected to a Category 1 licenses and six applications for stand-alone Category 3 licenses. One application was also submitted for a Category 3 license connected to a Category 2 license.

Category 2 licenses were only available to horse tracks and simulcast venues.

Newest licensees

The state has been gearing up to this launch for a number of weeks.

Earlier this month, the MGC voted to approve a temporary sports betting license for sports apparel giant Fanatics.

However, Fanatics will not be able to accept wagers until it undergoes a full suitability review by the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau.

Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor received the first Category 1 license from the MGC, having been awarded it in December 2022.

The Category 1 license permits operators to conduct in-person retail sports betting at their properties and on up to two online platforms. But any online platforms connected to a Category 1 license must also have a Category 3 license.

Self-exclusion scheme

Earlier today, ahead of the market’s launch, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced a voluntary self-exclusion scheme for sports betting in the state.

Massachusetts residents can register for the scheme through GameSense, a responsible gambling strategy facilitated by the MGC. This can be done over the phone, online or at physical GameSense venues in Massachusetts.