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Massachusetts set to examine sports betting license applications

Massachusetts Gaming Commission has launched a self exclusion register.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) plans to begin reviewing category three sports betting license applications early this year.

The five-member committee will take into account applications from a few of the industry’s biggest companies as well as a few from relatively unknowns, with the examination expected to take place between January 3 and January 6.

The commission is supported by a strong team under the direction of Executive Director Karen Wells.

MGC Chairperson Cathy Judd-Stein said it is crucial that they emphasise the importance of regulatory clearance; before any operators may launch, they must also successfully complete a thorough vetting process that includes verification.

“It’s important for us to reiterate that the launch by any operator is still strictly contingent on regulatory approval of operational readiness, and the operators must pass verification and testing processes—a rigorous testing process—before any bets on their platform can be placed,” Judd-Stein said.

The applications to be reviewed are from businesses that want to provide online or mobile-only betting that is not linked to a casino, horse racing track or simulcasting facility.

The bill permits businesses without a physical presence in the state to be granted up to seven licenses for online sportsbooks. The MGC reports that six applications have been submitted for Category 3 sports wagering operator licenses, which are totally offsite.

The six applicants in Category 3 are PointsBet, FanDuel, DraftKings, Bally’s Interactive, BetR and Betway.

Each applicant for an online sportsbook that is approved for licensure in Massachusetts will be charged $5 million and every five years they will need to renew their license.

A 15 percent gaming tax will be applied to all gross gaming income from online sports betting. Mobile business income will be subject to a slightly higher tax rate of 20 percent.

In late December 2022, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission granted retail licenses to Plainridge Park Casino, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield.

Sports betting was legalized in Massachusetts in August 2022 by Gov. Charlie Baker, who signed the bill in collaboration with the state legislature.

According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, legal sports betting will begin in Massachusetts on January 31, 2023, at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and online sports betting will follow in March.

In 2022, Massachusetts will join Maine and Kansas as the third state to legalize sports betting. Since the Supreme Court approved it in 2018, there are now roughly 30 states with sports betting laws.

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