Who’s in on Massachusetts Online Sports Betting?

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Al Horford #42 and Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrate against the Golden State Warriors. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP.

Massachusetts became the latest state to legalize online and retail sports betting, however, a launch date has yet to be announced.

Nevertheless, the platform providers expressing interest in the Bay State market have recently made it be known.

Notice of Intent

Any online top-rated sportsbook seeking to gain access to the newly established Massachusetts gaming market must email a notice of intent to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission by August 31st.

There will be 15 online sports betting licenses available in addition to retail establishments located at Encore Boston Harbor Casino, MGM Springfield Casino, Plainridge Park Casino, as well as Suffolk Downs and Raynham Park simulcasting facilities.

Each retail location will have up to two skins, or online brands, with whom they can partner to enter the digital realm of sports betting. Of the 15 online sports betting licenses, 7 will be for those that have not partnered with retail betting establishments.

Those entities that have sent in a letter of intent thus far are:

  • Betr Holdings, Inc. – Jake Paul’s new micro-betting brand
  • Sportradar Solutions, LLC (B2B)
  • 888 US, Inc. (88 Holdings) – likely SI
  • PlayUp Interactive MA, LLC (Play Up)
  • NYX Digital Gaming (USA), LLC (B2B)
  • Bally’s Interactive, LLC
  • PointsBet Massachusetts, LLC
  • Massasoit Greyhound Association, Inc.
  • FBG Enterprises OPCO, LLC (Bet Fanatics)
  • Crown Gaming, LLC (Draft Kings)
  • GAN Nevada, Inc (B2B)
  • Wynn BET

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Some Usual Suspects Missing

We all know DraftKings is ubiquitous in the world of online sports betting so when their home state of Massachusetts passed online sports betting legislation, DK’s response was predictably jubilant.

Once news broke that the bill had been approved Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO and Chairman of the Board, tweeted: “We are thrilled that our home state has acted to protect consumers, create jobs, and grow revenue in the Commonwealth.

We particularly want to thank Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, Chairs Michlewitz and Rodrigues, and the members of the conference committee for their leadership.”

Inclusions and Taxes

The legislation should have been passed long ago as the Massachusetts House worked quickly in getting a sports betting bill together that passed overwhelmingly in the lower chamber. However, the Mass Senate took its sweet time and eventually forged a bill that was without college sports and included a higher tax rate on platform providers.

Fortunately, the bill that was negotiated resembled the House’s version far more than the Senate’s. But politicians never miss a chance to take a bow and congratulate each other as the Senate President did shortly after the bill was drafted and ultimately signed by the governor.

Senate President Karen Spilka in a statement, “I’d like to thank the many Senators who have worked so hard on behalf of the Senate on the issue of sports betting legalization to bring this new industry to Massachusetts.

I’m proud of the protections for consumers and our college athletes included in this bill, and I’d like to thank Speaker Mariano and the House conferees for their partnership.”

Who is Actually Missing?

It was no surprise that DraftKings was among the first to file a notice of intent but what is surprising, stunning actually, is that as of August 31st there are a few of the usual suspects missing, namely the equally ubiquitous FanDuel and the online brand associated with one of the state’s three casinos, BetMGM.

It would be head-scratching if either chose not to enter the market and there are a few more popular brands that have yet to throw their hats into the ring.

Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook, Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers, and Caesars are also absent from this list. It is likely a case of 11th-hour legal wrangling but it will be interesting to see if any of the major players pass on Mass.