Massachusetts could see an “underdog” or two among its mobile sports betting apps when the state launches online sports betting in 2023.
New York-based Underdog Sports Wagering and Nigeria-based Easywin are among 23 mobile sports betting operators that made an Oct. 17 deadline to submit required company information to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) as part of the agency’s sports betting licensing application process.
Another is Buddybet, an Australian social entertainment platform that allows bettors to wager with a handshake. “No odds, no complicated betting terms, no fat-cat bookmakers, just bets between buddies,” is how the app describes itself.
But more than a handshake will be required by applicants competing for 16 mobile Massachusetts sports betting licenses – including only seven standalone apps. Newcomers vying for a spot in the Bay State market will have to contend with well-established operators like FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and Caesars that now operate sportsbooks in dozens of states.
The MGC meets Thursday to continue reviewing – and maybe approving – a number of the 200-plus state regulations needed to get in-person sports betting live by late January and mobile sports betting up and running by March Madness next year.
Underdog Sports Wagering
Underdog Sports Wagering out of Brooklyn is one of the 23 companies that made the Oct. 17 deadline and is now allowed to compete for a Massachusetts mobile sports betting license in the coming weeks. Underdog is a longtime fantasy sports company that has recently ventured into sports betting in both Massachusetts and Ohio.
The company has partnered to be the mobile operator for the Cincinnati Reds when the Buckeye State launches sports betting Jan. 1. BetMGM will opererate the Reds’ retail sportsbook.
Underdog’s expansion is part of its “focus on building new, innovative games and delivering amazing customer experiences,” according to a quote from Underdog investor Chris Grove of Acies Investments shared by WCPO-TV on Sept. 7.
“As the company moves into licensed sports betting, I believe that the unique focus on product and experience will reshape the industry,” Grove said.
Easywin operates an online sports gaming and lottery app in several African nations including Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Nigeria. A LinkedIn page for the company says its plan now is to expand into the legal sports betting realm in other countries.
A quick look at Easywin’s online platform shows active sports betting options for soccer (including MLS matches) basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and table tennis. The site bills itself as “one of the best sports betting sites in Nigeria.”
“Easywin Lottery operates and provides an integrated portfolio of leading-edge technology products and services across all regulated gaming markets (with) plans to introduce electronic gaming machines, sports betting, interactive gaming, and commercial services,” says the site.
Six Possible Mass Sports Betting Retail Locations Also in the Running
There are 29 companies in all that made the Monday deadline and can now proceed with the rest of the sports betting application process in Massachusetts. Twenty-three of those are in the running for a mobile sports betting license. The other six are the state’s three casinos and three simulcast/racing facilities, all of which are eligible to apply for in-person and mobile licenses under the Bay State’s 2022 sports betting law.
Until recently, only two simulcast facilities – Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs – were considered likely to seek retail sports betting licenses and separate licenses for mobile sportsbook apps branded to each facility. Then in early October, Great Meadowbrook Farm in Hardwick announced it is also seeking to operate retail sports betting next year.
That increased the number of potential mobile sportsbook apps in Massachusetts to 16 from 15 earlier this fall.
Application Deadline Set for Nov. 21
The data submitted by the 29 companies is part of Massachusetts’ sports betting license application process and a prerequisite to be considered as an applicant. The deadline to submit the application itself is Nov. 21.
Under that deadline, the MGC is expected to meet its plans to launch retail sports betting in late January. That would have in-person sports betting live in the state in time for Super Bowl 57 on Feb. 12. Mobile sports betting, however, will miss the big game.
Full List of Potential Mass Sports Betting Operators
Companies that submitted requested information by the Oct. 17 deadline and are now potential applicants for a Massachusetts sports betting license are as follows:
Casino – Retail
- Encore Boston Harbor
- MGM Springfield
- Plainridge Park Casino
Simulcast/Racing – Retail
- Commonwealth Equine and Agricultural Center/Great Meadowbrook Farm
- Raynham Park
- Suffolk Downs
- Bally Bet
- Caesars Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Mohegan Digital
- Penn Sports Interactive
- Underdog Sports Wagering
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