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Massachusetts Sets March 10 as Tentative Online Sports Betting Launch Date

Massachusetts Sets March 10 as Tentative Online Sports Betting Launch Date article feature image

Christmas has come early in Massachusetts.

On Thursday morning, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Executive Director Karen Wells proposed March 10 at 10 a.m. ET. as the “tentative start” date and time for online sports betting.

That’s one month away. And ahead of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, which begins March 14.

Wells reiterated later that it’s a “target” date, and that the commission realizes the desire for both bettors and operators to launch before March Madness.

The official launch date will be finalized later this month. The online licenses will also be finalized during a Feb. 23 hearing.

🚨 Mobile sports betting could be coming to Massachusetts sooner than we thought…

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— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 9, 2023

Massachusetts launched retail sports betting at three casinos on Jan. 31 — Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino.

The state’s casinos have partnerships with BetMGM, Barstool Sportsbook and WynnBET, whose parent companies own and operate both the casinos and online sportsbooks.

So far, 11 sportsbooks have earned licenses. The big player missing is European and global giant bet365, which withdrew its application.

There are 15 licenses total, with eight tethered to casinos and seven available through a bidding process.

Retail operators will be taxed at 15%; online will be 20%. That’s on par with many other states that have launched online sports betting since PASPA was repealed in 2018.

Betting on in-state college teams (UMass, Boston College, etc.) is not allowed, unless it’s in a tournament setting.

Massachusetts is expected to be one of the strictest states for compliance, and there have already been two violations in 10 days of retail betting. Both Plainridge Park and Encore reportedly accepted wagers on in-state college teams.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected to review violations during Thursday’s hearing.

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