Will all certified Massachusetts gaming entities go dwell on the identical day? Will retail launch forward of cellular or vice versa? Ought to present casinos and parimutuel amenities get desire?
Lower than 24 hours after Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature made sports activities betting authorized within the Bay State, the Massachusetts Gaming Fee started exploring these questions and extra throughout a gathering Thursday. Whereas it’s too quickly to have readability on a lot of the questions, the MGC did set a time — 10 a.m. on Aug. 18 — for its first assembly with stakeholders.
That “roundtable” dialogue will embody representatives from every of the state’s 5 present bodily gaming areas: Encore-Boston Harbor (WynnBET), MGM-Springfield (BetMGM), Plainridge Park (Barstool Sportsbook), Raynham Park, and Suffolk Downs. Below the brand new regulation, every of these entities shall be entitled to at least one bodily sportsbook location, whereas the casinos are entitled to 2 digital platforms and the racetracks are every entitled to at least one.
Whereas it’s clear that the MGC acknowledges that these 5 operators skilled in gaming within the state are positioned to get by way of the licensing course of sooner than a stand-alone entity, the company hasn’t indicated in the event that they’ll be the primary to launch or if it’s going to launch all varieties of licensees concurrently.
Count on DraftKings and FanDuel
The brand new regulation permits for seven stand-alone cellular platforms, and it’s a no brainer to imagine that Boston-based DraftKings and rival FanDuel shall be amongst them. Provided that it’s headquartered in Massachusetts, it could observe that DraftKings will foyer for a common begin date that features untethered platforms.
For now, it’s unclear how and when that call shall be made.
“My inclination is simultaneous,” MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein stated. “Slightly than sequential.”
However Judd-Stein pressured that these phrases, which suggest a common go-live date, are her early opinion and never a call. Her feedback have been adopted by questions from MGC Government Director Karen Wells, who requested if the fee would desire a single launch date, if retail would “arise first,” or if present retail areas would be capable of launch bodily and digital books on the similar time.
Who will make closing selections about that’s unclear. The fee might both inform MGC workers what its desire is or direct workers to make the choice. What was clear Thursday is that there’s loads to think about.
Timeline nonetheless up within the air
Final week, Wells shared a listing of 225 potential rules and the necessity for extra workers with the intention to transfer swiftly by way of the approval course of. Beginning subsequent week, the MGC will seek the advice of with stakeholders on every of the foundations, and, possible, what purposes will seem like. A number of commissioners shared Judd-Stein’s opinion that each one approvals ought to transfer on parallel tracks, however for potential operators not already lively within the state, the method shall be extra complicated.
— Dan Kennedy (@dankennedy_nu) August 11, 2022
The MGC can be making ready for a aggressive scenario for the seven stand-alone cellular licenses, and the variety of candidates might decide how lengthy the approval course of will take. For instance, if there are seven or fewer candidates, every may very well be vetted, authorized, and licensed, but when there are greater than seven, the MGC might want to develop tips or requirements to find out which seven could be awarded licenses.
There is no such thing as a mandated go-live date within the new regulation.