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WynnBet approved for first Massachusetts mobile sportsbook

WynnBet news

WynnBet was recently granted the first state-issued license to operate as an online sportsbook in Massachusetts. The gaming operator was issued the permit on Tuesday.

WynnBet’s Vice President and General Counsel, Jennifer Roberts, released a statement on Tuesday, revealing that the company looked forward to working with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) in the future.

“Madam Chair and members of the commission, we’re honored by this outcome today, and we look forward to being a collaborative partner with the Commission going forward,” Roberts said.

The decision was made after almost seven hours of deliberation by the five-member commission. The process also included them withdrawing, more than once, into non-public executive sessions.

The commission’s decision was ultimately made via the recommendation of the staff of the gaming agency. WynnBet will start operating its mobile wagering platform in March next year when online betting is slated to go live in Massachusetts.

Per a section of the An Act Regulating Sports Wagering, the commission was charged with creating regulations to oversee the recently legalized sports betting industry in the Commonwealth. In November, the regulator received 15 applications from operators, and it has approved only Encore Boston Harbor’s so far.

WynnBet’s sports wagering application is in concurrence with the Category 1 sports wagering license issued to Encore Boston Harbor. All three brick-and-mortar casinos in Massachusetts — Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park, and MGM Springfield — are permitted to request Category 1 sports wagering licenses. With the sports gambling permits, each gaming operator will be allowed to offer a retail sportsbook as well as two online platforms.

Wynn Resorts is the parent company of both WynnBet and Encore Boston Harbor. The online sportsbook will use one of Encore’s available Category 1 online skins and run the casino’s on-site sportsbook. WynnBet can only move forward with this after a regulator review of the operations of both licensees is conducted.

As of last Friday, Encore became the first approved casino to offer sports betting after the votes for MGM Springfield and Plainridge’s Category 1 sports wagering applications were delayed.

The regulators previously revealed that they felt ill-at-ease with placing their votes on Plainridge’s application, at least until the casino discloses more information about its seemingly close relationship with Dave Portnoy, controversial owner and stockholder of Barstool Sports.

The vote for MGM’s application, on the other hand, was moved after the commission stated that they required more time and internal information from the company’s sports betting sector, BetMGM.

WynnBet received some conditions with its approval. Commissioner Jordan Maynard, in particular, expressed some concern about seeing little information regarding the company’s diversity hiring policy.

“We’ve been spoiled by looking at other applications, where we’ve seen (diversity) percentages. It’s not really that I want to look at every vendor; I want to see percentages. The only way I can understand how many is if I know what the universe looks like, that’s how ratios work,” Maynard said.

Due to this, WynnBet’s Category 3 license came with the condition that before launching operations the company needed to supply information to the regulators concerning its diversity breakdown.

“Commissioners put conditions on the awarding of this license, including WynnBET providing the MGC with information on the company’s current vendor diversity statistics and establishing goals on diversity spend in advance of operating sports wagering in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” the regulators said via a release.

Being inclusive and having a diverse makeup in a company’s staff is a significant pillar in the state’s current gambling expansion. According to Massachusetts’ 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, licensed gaming operators were mandated to create “training programs that promote the development of a skilled and diverse workforce”.

The act also states that gambling operators are required to create diversity hiring goals and how they intended to chase them. They were to give preference to minority- and women-owned contractors.

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