Bally’s planning late Q2 sports betting launch in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts consumers have lost two digital sports betting options in the last month, but could gain one more choice by the end of June.

BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics Sportsbook and FanDuel are currently live in Massachusetts, while Betr and WynnBET recently shut down their platforms. Bally’s launched its igaming platform in Rhode Island, where it already has a monopoly on digital sports betting, on 5 March. That launch is significant in terms of next steps in Massachusetts, as the company told the MGC last year that it would prioritise that launch before turning its attention to the Bay State.

To go live, Bally’s has some regulatory steps to take, including equipment inspections and final approval of internal controls, but has not yet let the MGC know its specific plans. Band learned of the company’s intention to launch last week when he called the company seeking information about its Massachusetts plans following the go-live in Rhode Island.

Band said that he has reached out to to Bally’s multiple times since a December meeting to discuss launch plans, but has not heard back.

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said it may be time to “move it forward and stop the offering, and sort of have them appear?” Brad Hill concurred, saying, “I think I am agreeing with Commissioner O’Brien. I think I’d like to be a little bit more strict and say, ‘No, you are having a meeting with us,’ and if it’s before the commission, then so be it. […] But I think we are at a point here where we need to move forward.”

New market added, Judd-Stein’s last meeting

The commission also approved adding betting on the UFL – a result of the XFL-USFL merger – to the bet menu. Fanatics Sportsbook and FanDuel requested the market be added.

Commission chair Cathy Judd-Stein led her final meeting, after announcing her retirement from public service in February. Judd-Stein has been the chair since January 2019.

“For me, public service has offered the rewarding opportunity to influence policy where key public and private interests intersect,” Judd-Stein said during the meeting. “My appointment to serve the MGC has been such a privilege as we’ve championed transformation policies on behalf of all Massachusetts residents, advancing a safe and sustainable gaming landscape.”

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