Getting the green light
MGM Springfield and BetMGM have received approval for sports betting licenses in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) came to these decisions on Monday, making MGM Springfield the second casino to be granted a license in the state. With the green light, the casino resort will be able to launch retail sports betting in early 2023.
unanimous in its vote to approve MGM Springfield’s license request
The MGC was unanimous in its vote to approve MGM Springfield’s license request, but only after a hearing filled with questions. The regulators placed plenty of pressure on casino officials and legal representatives during the meeting.
One area of concern for the regulators was an ongoing lawsuit involving the casino in which a former casino employee claimed that the property had submitted inaccurate diversity numbers when it was seeking a casino license. The person also claimed to be the subject of retaliation and discrimination.
The commission also asked questions about the casino’s relationship with BetMGM, which will be operating the property’s retail sportsbook. Finally, regulators asked MGM Springfield officials about concerns in the local community that the casino has not lived up to its original promises when it first opened the casino. Ultimately, MGC officials accepted MGM Springfield’s assurances and explanations and granted the license.
Eventually getting over the line
Approval for MGM Springfield came after a number of setbacks in recent weeks. The casino initially missed the deadline to submit its application in November and the MGC had to delay its licensing vote on December 7 due to certain concerns. Regulators felt that casino officials did not fully answer questions regarding BetMGM’s technology and its compliance in other states.
$4m sports betting lounge has already been built
The property also has been preparing for its launch of retail sports betting. A $4m sports betting lounge has already been built, which contains a bar, a massive screen to watch games, and a betting counter and kiosks. Casino officials plan to create seven full-time jobs with the new sports betting operation, as well as six part-time roles.
BetMGM gets the nod
The MGC also voted unanimously on Monday to approve BetMGM for a temporary Category 3 online sports betting license. BetMGM still needs to fully comply with MGC conditions, as well as provide regular updates “regarding any developments to two confidential investigations first reported to the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau on December 16, 2022.” Another requirement sees BetMGM having to supply a vendor diversity list to the commission.
The current hope is that online sportsbooks will be able to launch in Massachusetts in March 2023. An update to the launch date is expected in the coming weeks.