Friday‘s launch of online MA sports betting crept closer to reality as regulators continued to tick boxes on various issues Wednesday.
Not all the work got done, though, as a lengthy discussion on voided wagers pushed the approval of house rules back until Thursday.
Perhaps the biggest news from the meeting was that Betr, the microbetting sportsbook backed by Jake Paul, will not be launching Friday as previously expected. That brings the number of Massachusetts sportsbooks likely launching in time for March Madness betting down to six.
CEO Joey Levy told LSR the launch would come at some point in April.
Commission wants say in voiding MA sports betting tickets
Multiple members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission are not entirely comfortable with sportsbook operators voiding bets on their own.
Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said canceling a mistaken bet or voiding the leg of a parlay because a certain player did not play is a cut-and-dry situation that can be handled. But whenever voiding a bet is subjective, she would like to see those come before the commission, which is how some states including New Jersey and New York handle those situations.
Representatives for operators on the call said that would be OK despite preferring the ability to void at-will. The commission will make the changes and approve the house rules on Thursday.
Even more work to be done
There is still more to do on Thursday in order for operators to launch at 10 am Friday.
The commission will meet to discuss various issues, but none more important than the vote on operations certificates for the mobile operators. That is the final step to allow sportsbooks to launch.
There are six operators that plan to go live Friday:
Betr was previously on this list until MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein confirmed the company would not launch on Friday. Betr also just received its license for Virginia sports betting this week and said that launch would be “soon.”
Vote on Wynn MA sports betting error
Another item of interest on Thursday’s agenda is the commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau report on Wynn‘s noncompliance with the state’s sports betting catalog.
Wynn accepted a five-leg parlay which included the Boston College women’s basketball team on a kiosk at Encore Boston Harbor. The problem, of course, is that Massachusetts does not allow betting on in-state schools.
The error was made by Wynn supplier GAN, which did not have the game on its banned list. The game was available to bet for five hours.
All three in-person betting operators have allowed betting on in-state schools since betting launched at the end of January.
LSR reporter Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.