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Online sports betting set to go live in Massachusetts in March

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has announced it will tentatively begin online sports betting on March 10 at 10 a.m. ET and just days before the beginning of 2023 NCAA March Madness. In a public statement given by the executive director of the MGC, Karen Wells, all verified Category 3 mobile operators should be up and running by that time in order to work out any possible kinks there may be. Meanwhile, the official start date will be finalized later this month.

According to the director’s announcement, up to 11 online sports betting operators will be in business by the time of the hard launch. So far, Barstool Sportsbook, Bally Bet, BetMGM, Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, betr, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Fanatics, and WynnBet could be fully starting by next month once their application has been approved. However, Betway has noted it may not go live in March as it is still getting its house in order from the recent acquisition by Super Group. Bet365 on the other hand will not be going online because it withdrew its application. The MGC has 15 licenses, eight of which are linked to casinos while the remaining seven are for standalone online operators, of which any of them can be won through a bidding process.
In the words of the director concerning the soft launch: “I’m proposing a tentative launch date for the Category 3 mobile operators, or online operators, of March 10. The suggestion is we do it that date because it gives us the weekend if there’s any issues before March Madness starts, and then there’s a Monday where we could have a Commission meeting if necessary if there’s any issues before the big tournament starts. The recommendation is that we start at 10am. There are some events that folks might want to wager on, on March 10 itself, so that’s why the recommendation came down.”

Though Massachusetts may be a new player in the sports betting field, it has hit the ground running. After it legislature authorized it in August 2022, sports betting became legal in Massachusetts with the launch of retail sports betting in January this year.

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