Caesars Sportsbook Green-Lighted for Massachusetts Sports Betting License

Massachusetts now has three mobile sports betting apps on track to launch in the Bay State in time for March Madness. 

Since Monday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has found Caesars Sportsbook and BetMGM “suitable” for temporary mobile sports betting licenses. Caesars Sportsbook became the latest app to move toward licensure when it was found suitable on Tuesday. The app is one of two mobile sportsbooks approved by the MGC that are tied to Encore Boston Harbor casino. The other app — WynnBET — was awarded a mobile sports betting license last week.

All three apps are expected to launch in early March per the commonwealth’s mobile sports betting launch timeline. 

The three mobile sportsbooks are among 12 online apps vying for a Bay State license, and among five apps that have applied for a mobile license tethered to the state’s three casinos: Encore, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino. Mobile apps tethered to the casinos can be awarded only after each casino has been awarded a retail sports betting license.

On the retail side, Encore Boston Harbor became the first sports betting licensee in Massachusetts last Thursday. MGM Springfield was awarded a license yesterday. Plainridge Park Casino, owned by Penn Entertainment, is expected to be awarded a license later today. 

All sports betting licensees in Massachusetts must have their sportsbook operations certified by the state before they can launch, with certification of retail operations up first in anticipation of a pre-Super Bowl launch.

Caesars Sportsbook is Bay State’s Second Mobile Licensee

Caesars Sportsbook was found suitable for a temporary license in Massachusetts today through its partnership with Encore Boston Harbor.  The company – also known as American Wagering Inc. under the Caesars Entertainment umbrella – is one of the largest sports betting operators in North America with operations in 27 jurisdictions in the US and Canada. The Bay State will be the 20th mobile sports betting jurisdiction for the Caesars brand. 

Once it goes live in Massachusetts, Caesars Sportsbook will use its “newest and most advanced platform” known internally as Liberty to serve mobile bettors, Caesars Sportsbook Digital Operations President Eric Hession told the commission last week. 

“It will be our most current and updated, and advanced, product that we are planning to roll out,” said Hession. 

Fanatics and Barstool Up Next

The third casino expected to be licensed for retail sports betting in Massachusetts is Plainridge Park Casino owned by Penn Entertainment. That casino had its retail application deferred by the MGC in early December after questions surfaced about the suitability of Barstool Sports, one of Plainridge Park’s two mobile sportsbook partners. The casino told the MGC in a meeting on Dec. 6 that it plans to brand its retail sportsbook with the Barstool name. 

Plainridge Park Casino’s application for a retail sports betting license is expected to be revisited by the MGC today. If awarded, the commission plans to consider both Barstool (Penn Interactive) and Fanatics applications for mobile licenses tethered to the casino. 

Next month the commission is expected to review seven more Massachusetts mobile sports betting licensing applications. Those include applications for six standalone mobile licenses (not tied to a retail licensee) and one app (bet365) tied to the racing simulcast facility Raynham Park. Applications for retail sports betting at Raynham Park and the state’s other simulcast facility at Suffolk Downs will be accepted on a rolling basis.

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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