In the case of WynnBET, coming in third has proven capable of getting them across the finish line first. Working in partnership with Encore Boston Harbor, WynnBET was the first mobile sports betting app to gain a license to operate from the state of Massachusetts.
Regulators for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously on December 8 to grant a license to the WynnBET/Encore Boston Harbor partnership.
“I think that this is great for the commonwealth,” Massachusetts Gaming Commission Commissioner Jordan Maynard told Boston 25 News. “I know we took the vote saying that, but I do think it’s great for the commonwealth.”
Considered a Category 1 candidate, meaning that they will be offering in person as well as online and mobile wagering, WynnBET was the third mobile sports betting app in as many days to have a licensing hearing with the commission, but the first to gain approval.
On December 6, the commission opted to defer a vote on the license application from the partnership of Barstool Sportsbook and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. Then on December 7, the commission was also opting to put off a vote on the application from BetMGM/MGM Springfield.
In the first instance, the commission is worried by the connection with the controversial Barstool Sports brand. Penn National Gaming, owner of the Plainridge Park Casino, are also part owners of Barstool Sports.
“I’m concerned about some of the historical marketing associated with Barstool and in particular when you look at some of the coverage this year, and in particular the recent coverage in the New York Times about some of the conduct of Barstool,” Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said.
The main issue with the BetMGM/MGM Springfield application was that the companies were late in applying and missed the scheduled deadline.
“We were struggling to do both the BetMGM application and our application at the same time and there was a mix-up,” MGM Springfield Vice President and Counsel Gus Kim told the commission. “I am so sorry that it happened but as soon as we realized that there was an issue, we corrected the problem.”
Meetings to discuss these and five other license applications are set to resume later in December. As well, the six applications for mobile-only sports betting licenses will be discussed in early January.
Launch of legal and regulated sports betting in Massachusetts is expected to begin in late January or early February, in time for the Super Bowl. Launch of mobile sports betting is anticipated sometime in March of 2023. Poinstbet is expected to go live in Massachussetts as well.