PointsBet Pullback Continues With MA Sports Betting Exit

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MA sports betting

PointsBet withdrew its application as an online MA sports betting operator, continuing a more measured approach to the US market.

The state gaming commission announced the move a meeting on Massachusetts sports betting Thursday

The PointsBet departure leaves MA with 10 online sports betting operators, seven of which are expected to go live on the proposed March 10 start date. 

PointsBet explains departure

PointsBet explained its decision in a statement via a spokesperson: 

You will have seen the outcome from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting today where PointsBet made the decision to withdraw its application at this time. We have chosen this path to emphasize our continued focus on our 14 live states of the US (plus Ontario) and how we can best optimize those markets which provide an immense TAM for us to go after.

We would like to thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for their consideration of our application, conducting extensive hearings, and deeming PointsBet suitable for licensure ahead of the launch of legalized sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

PointsBet regional approach

The surprising move comes as PointsBet changes to a more regional approach. PointsBet and NBC Universal recently renegotiated their TV partnership to allow the sportsbook to spend less by moving to local broadcasts. 

It previously backed out of its sponsorship for the Football Night In America pregame show.

Leaving a sports-crazed market like Boston, with a significant population and rabid fanbase, only raises more questions. On its latest earnings call, PointsBet reported a 2.3% revenue share for online sports betting across its US operations.

MA sports wagering launch dates

The MGC also announced that Fanatics Sportsbook and Bally Bet will not launch until May

Betway says it will not launch for at least a year.  

Bet365, like PointsBet, also elected to withdraw from the Commonwealth. 

Operators ready for March 10 launch in Massachusetts

The commission approved nine operators for temporary licensure. All submitted the necessary forms and the $1 million fee for a one-year temporary license.

Betway told the MGC that they will soon submit a temporary licensure request, along with the fee.

More MA sports betting violations

Encore Boston Harbor committed another violation, as its WynnBet Sportsbook again offered a Boston College women’s basketball game. It was because of a glitch in provider GAN’s system, according to the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau

Women’s college basketball games are currently not being offered at the sportsbook as the situation is sorted out.

That makes four total violations since the Jan. 31 launch of in-person sports betting in the Commonwealth. 

Violation hearing set

Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor will have their hearing for sports wagering infractions March 14.

MGM Springfield will have its adjudicatory hearing at a later date.

IEB said MGM Springfield allowed bets on Harvard-Yale and Harvard-Brown men’s college basketball games. The games were available for a combined 41 hours, and total stakes were a combined $1,230.

The error occurred when Harvard was incorrectly listed as being located in Connecticut.