Mass. officials target Jan. 31 for in-person sports betting launch
A “soft” launch will take place the day before.
Those looking forward to betting on sports in Massachusetts finally have a day to mark on their calendars.
Officials from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Thursday that they intend to launch sports betting on Jan. 31, 2023, The Boston Globe reported.
In-person betting will be available at three casinos: Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield. Officials hope to launch online and mobile sports betting in March, just in time for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The news came during a public meeting, where MGC members laid out what needs to be done before members of the public can place their bets next month.
First, the software used at point-of-sale kiosks and with tellers must be tested. That will begin on Jan. 16, according to the Globe. Next, if the software works smoothly, it will be paired with the necessary hardware and tested again. The final retail setup at each of the three casinos will have to pass a verification test.
Then, ideally on Jan. 27, the MGC will issue certificates of operations to each of the casinos. On Monday, Jan. 30, the betting operations will undergo a “soft” launch, the Globe reported. A commissioner will be on site at each casino to make sure everything is running smoothly.
On Tuesday, the MGC granted a temporary license to Plainridge Park Casino, the final Category 1 retail sports betting license issued to the state’s three casinos.
Commissioners stipulated that Plainridge Park and the company that operates it, PENN Entertainment, must cooperate with the MGC’s investigation into Barstool Sports. PENN bought Barstool earlier this year. Members of the MGC have expressed concern regarding the company’s branding and founder Dave Portnoy’s public comments regarding gambling.
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