Ahead of the November 21 application deadline, 15 total sports wagering operator applications were submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Three applications were received for Category 1 licenses, five were received for a Category 3 license tethered to a Category 1 license, and six were received for stand-alone Category 3 licenses. One additional Category 3 license application to be tethered to a Category 2 license was also received. Category 2 licenses, which only current horse tracks or simulcast facilities are eligible for, will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino have each submitted applications for a Category 1 operator license. The law allows for Category 1 sports wagering operators to operate in-person wagering at their properties as well as on up to two online platforms. The online platforms attached to a Category 1 license will be licensed as Category 3 sports wagering operators.
Encore Boston Harbor has indicated they intend to operate two online platforms, WynnBet and Caesars Sportsbook. MGM Springfield has indicated they intend to operate one online platform, BetMGM. Plainridge Park Casino has indicated they intend to operate two online platforms, Penn Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook. These entities are required to be licensed as a Category 3 operator and have submitted the relevant application. These licenses are subject to MGC approval.
Six applications were submitted for Category 3 operator licenses, not including the five tethered to a Category 1 applicant. The law permits the MGC to award no more than seven stand-alone Category 3 licenses, which allows the operator to offer sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through an online platform. The Category 3 applicants tethered to a Category 1 license do not count toward the total of seven stand-alone Category 3 licenses. A list of stand-alone Category 3 applicants can be found below.
Each applicant has also submitted the $200,000 application fee.
Commissioners have set a goal of launching in-person betting at Category 1 establishments in January and online wagering in March. More information on a schedule of meetings where applications will be publicly reviewed is forthcoming.
Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and Suffolk Downs are the only entities eligible to apply for a Category 2 license at this time. Both companies have indicated that while they intend to apply, they are not prepared to begin offering in-person sports wagering by January 2023. With Category 2 licenses not being subject to a competitive process, commissioners decided at a November 10, 2022 meeting to allow applications from Category 2 applicants to be submitted on a rolling basis, including applications for tethered Category 3 licenses. However, ahead of the application deadline, Raynham Park has made the MGC aware that they will partner with bet365 to operate an online platform. Bet365 has applied ahead of the deadline. For a Category 3 operator tethered to a Category 2 license to be able to commence operations, the Category 2 license and certificate of operations must be awarded.
Category-3 (stand-alone) applications have come in from BallyBet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel and Pointsbet USA.