Massachusetts Online Sports Betting To Provide Plenty of Options

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Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign a Massachusetts sports betting bill into law
The legislation will allow for up to 15 online sports betting operators
Three operators already have market access in the Commonwealth

The ink isn’t even dry on a sports betting bill and we’re already looking ahead at the Massachusetts online sports betting options in the Commonwealth.

After Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signs the Massachusetts sports betting Bill H.5164 into law, retail and online sports betting will become legal in the state for the first time. As per the legislation, each casino will be able to offer up to two online sports betting skins, each state racetrack will have access to one, and seven untethered online sports betting operator licenses will be up for grabs.

So that begs the question, what sports betting skins can the fine people of Massachusetts expect when sports betting is launched?

Confirmed Massachusetts Online Sports Betting Operators

There are three casinos in the state and all three have partnerships with online operators already:

MGM Boston (BetMGM)
MGM Springfield (BetMGM)
Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool Sportsbook)

Oh and for people wondering #BarstoolSportsbook is guaranteed both retail and online in MA. There will be no behind the scenes shenanigans from our competitors to keep us out. We’re coming home

— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 1, 2022

MGM operates two of three brick-and-mortar casinos in the state, while Penn National Gaming operates the third. It’s expected that each of these casinos will apply for, and receive, a sports betting license in the state.

What we don’t know is if the casinos will exercise the second skin option contained in the Massachusetts sports betting bill details. Will either of these companies willfully allow competitors to enter the competitive state sports betting market?

So, BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook are most likely in. What other operators will be looking to get involved with Massachusetts?

Will Draftkings, Fanduel Take a Leap Into Massachusetts?

DraftKings and FanDuel will assuredly be aggressive in entering the Massachusetts market. DraftKings recently relocated to Boston in 2019 and has been a major player in every major sports betting market in the country. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins has long urged Massachusetts to legalize sports betting and said in a company statement he is “thrilled” it finally became a reality.

“We are thrilled that our home state has acted to protect consumers, create jobs and grow revenue in the Commonwealth. We particularly want to thank Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, Chair Michlewitz and Rodrigues, and the members of the conference committee for their leadership. We are hopeful that the legislature will move to quickly pass this bill and Governor Baker will sign it into law,” he said in a statement on social media.

Big @DraftKings’ home state news–the Massachusetts legislature passed sports betting legislation, pending executive action, that would authorize sports wagering in the Commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/CHxTy89toK

— DraftKings News (@DraftKingsNews) August 1, 2022

 

FanDuel also publicly stated on social media it is excited for the “potential” to bring FanDuel Sportsbook to the Commonwealth.

Thank you, Massachusetts!

FanDuel is excited for the potential to bring America’s #1 Sportsbook to the Commonwealth ? pic.twitter.com/OfyBr2N2fe

— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) August 1, 2022

But how will these operators enter the market? Both existing state racetracks have the ability to partner with up to one online sports betting operator and have no existing partnerships, so that’s one avenue into the market.

But will either of these sports betting giants want to be partnered with a racetrack, or will they attempt to procure one of the seven available untethered online sports betting licenses? No retail opportunities would be available with an online only license, but sports betting revenues wouldn’t have to be shared with a partnered entity.

Either way, DraftKings and FanDuel will both come into the Massachusetts market. It’s a safe bet to assume that Caesars Sportsbook will also be a player in the market.

After those companies find their way, a bevy of the smaller companies will try to find their way into the market as well. Will smaller operators such as Rush Street Interactive (with its BetRivers and SugarHouse brands), Points Bet, and WynnBET look to enter the market in some way?

It will also be interesting to see if the not-yet-launched Fanatics sportsbook will look for a partnership or a license. Fanatics CEO Michael G. Rubin is focusing his company’s efforts to break into the sports betting market and it currently applied for both an online and retail Ohio online sports betting license.

Fanatics also has an online and retail operator partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets and a retail partnership with the Cleveland Guardians. Will Fanatics take as an aggressive strategy to enter the Massachusetts sports betting market?

Either way, state bettors should see a bevy of options when Massachusetts online sports betting is launched.

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Robert Linnehan

Gambling
Regulatory Writer and Editor

Regulatory Writer and Editor

Covering regulatory developments in online gambling. Editing/writing/creating a newsletter for readers across all formats.

Gambling

Covering regulatory developments in online gambling. Editing/writing/creating a newsletter for readers across all formats.

Author: Jesse Smith