Massachusetts Sports Betting Timeline Inches Forward

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Massachusetts sports betting

A major deadline looms Monday for Massachusetts sports betting.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met Thursday, with the most critical outcome being the reminder that all interested sports betting license applicants must submit a scoping survey by 5 p.m. Monday. Prospective MA sports betting operators must provide an informational survey by the deadline for the MGC to consider the application.

Outside of that reminder, little substance came from the more than six-hour MGC meeting, even with the timeline set to launch retail sports betting by late January. The commission also plans to have online sports betting off the ground by early March.

Sports betting takeaways from Massachusetts meeting

Heading into Thursday’s meeting, an agenda item was reserved for public comments on draft applications. While one operator has filed an intent to submit a comment, there were none Thursday.

The MGC also announced several contracts to help launch MA sports betting. The commission will work with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) to help implement sports betting in the state.

At least five operators have already submitted the scoping survey, according to MGC Communications Division Chief Thomas Mills. Commissioners spent a significant chunk of time Thursday discussing how they might evaluate applications.

‘Waste’ of time in Massachusetts?

The commissioners acknowledged it will take a lot to narrow down applicants to seven untethered sports betting licenses. More than 40 entities have expressed interest in the licenses.

Some discussed using a numerical scoring system to get to final operators. At least one commissioner was skeptical of taking a deep look at every applicant.

“I do understand doing a full deep dive on applicants who might never rise to those top seven is a waste of resources for the commonwealth,” Commissioner Jordan Maynard said.

Lengthy process for Massachusetts sports betting

After years of discussion, MA legislators reached a deal for sports betting Aug. 1, with Gov. Charlie Baker signing it into law Aug. 10.

The MGC is no stranger to lengthy meetings, regularly holding day-long sessions since Baker signed the legislation.

Despite the long meetings, there still is little clarity for interested operators to work with in Massachusetts.