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MGM Springfield awarded Massachusetts sports betting license

MGM Springfield gambling news

On Monday, MGM Springfield and its online sportsbook, BetMGM, were awarded sports betting licenses by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) after much controversy surrounding their application filing.
 
The MGC discovered that the casino’s application for a Massachusetts sports betting permit was incomplete; as a result, the regulator scheduled a meeting for Monday, December 19, at which the operator appeared with the proposed corrections.
 
Following long hours of deliberation and eligibility evaluation, MGC voted 5-0 in favour of the casino’s Category 1 retail sportsbook license. This licence will allow the casino to start taking live bets on sporting events in January next year.
 
On the other hand, BetMGM’s Category 3 license approval came much later in the meeting. The online sportsbook was given a temporary permit with conditions that, if it meets them, will convert it to a permit license. MGC has requested that the sportsbook draw up a plan for achieving “diversity employment”, and to “provide timely and ongoing updates concerning any developments connected to the two confidential investigations that were first disclosed to the IEB on 12/16/22 and further discussed in executive session today”.
 
Commissioner Nakisha Skinner also questioned MGM Springfield in the hearing on how the operator intends to maintain control over its sports betting activities, given that BetMGM would be handling the majority of the daily betting activities.
 
“I think all of the issues that we’d be concerned about in connection with their category three application, they’re present and very much an issue in their role as a vendor for MGM Springfield,” she said.
 
MGM Springfield’s attorney, Jed Nosal, tackled the question, saying that BetMGM is a subsidiary service provider that will still be controlled and overseen by MGM Springfield.
 
MGM Springfield president Chris Kelley explained that the casino was thrilled to be converting an exceptional “sports lounge” into a sportsbook in the near future.
 
“We recognize this is a multi-step process but this is a very important step forward. We are extraordinarily excited in the not-too-distant future to be transitioning an extraordinary sports lounge into a sportbook,” he said.
 
In total, the MGC has now granted two out of the three Category 1 license requests that were sent by operators. MGM Springfield follows Encore Boston Harbor in gaining approval, while Plainridge Park Casino is still awaiting the green light.
 
BetMGM also joins WynnBet to own a Category 3 license in Massachusetts. Both operators will be allowed to commence their online betting operations in the state in March of next year.
 
The last day for MGC hearings on license applications in 2022 was on Tuesday, December 20. All unfinished business will have to wait until next year.

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