After enduring a month of significant scrutiny, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has unanimously approved Barstool Sports Book for a temporary Category 3 sports wagering operator license.
However, the approval came with a number of strict conditions attached to it. Barstool, licensed through Penn Sports Interactive, had to agree that no persons under the age of 21 will be permitted entrance into any live Barstool College Football Show events. They also must fully cooperate with an IEB investigation of Barstool Sports, Inc. in connection with the licensee’s branding, provide material updates to the IEB relative to proceedings discussed during executive session, and provide the MGC with diversity goals for workforce and supplier spending.
The vote on the Barstool application was originally put on hold following the previous licensing meeting on December 21.
“PSI is now eligible to request a temporary license to conduct sports wagering while a full suitability review is undertaken by the MGC,” read a statement from the MGC. “Following a temporary license being granted, PSI must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before they can accept wagers on approved sporting events.”
The MGC is investigating Dave Portnoy, founder of the controversial Barstool Sports site, over sexual misconduct and problem gambling allegations that he is facing. Penn Entertainment, PSI’s parent company, purchased 36% of Barstool Sports in 2021. Plans are in the works for Penn National to acquire the remainder this year.
The Barstool Sportsbook mobile license is in partnership with Penn National’s Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Mass. Retail sports betting is set to launch in Massachusetts on January 31. Online and mobile sports betting will be going live sometime in March of 2023.
A trio of Boston-area casinos – Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park – have already gained approval for licenses to offer in-person retail sports betting. Barstool Sportsbook is joining Caesars, BetMGM, and WynnBET as sport betting sites that have been granted licenses to operate in Massachusetts as online and mobile sports betting operations.
Fanatics, Bally’s Interactive, FanDuel), Betr Holdings, Inc., DraftKings, Digital Gaming Corporation USA, and PointsBet are awaiting completion of hearings to see if they will be granted online sports betting licenses by the MGC.