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Interest high in Massachusetts limited sports betting licenses


There are at least 42 companies that plan to apply for a sports betting license in Massachusetts, giving the Gaming Commission the first indication of the work ahead as it prepares to launch an application and licensing process.

The commission asked in mid-August that any entity interested in seeking a license submit a nonbinding notice of intent form by Wednesday to establish an point of contact between the regulators and the companies that could make up a newly legal industry here.

The commission said Thursday that 42 companies submitted a form, though a submission is not required to eventually apply for a license.

Some of the companies on the list were already known since the state’s two casinos, two simulcast centers and one slots parlor have already met with the commission to detail their initial plans for offering legal wagering here.

Other companies run the gamut from those with traditional casino gambling ties like Caesars Sportsbook, Bally’s Interactive, Rush Street Interactive and Seminole Hard Rock Digital, to newer players in what is becoming more of a digital industry, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetFanatics, FanLogic and more.

In addition to the in-person betting licenses and mobile partnerships available to the existing state’s gaming centers, the Gaming Commission can also issue up to seven Category 3 licenses that would allow a company to take wagers through a mobile or digital platform.

The commission said it plans to hold a roundtable with companies interested in the Category 3 licenses similar to the one it held with its existing licensees.

The responses to the notice of intent form request could inform or influence the commission’s decision about how to proceed with the implementation of sports betting in the Bay State as eager bettors clamor for quick action.

Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said last month that she thinks “there is a real question about who stands up first”: the commission’s current licensees that can take in-person bets or the mobile-only operators that aren’t necessarily connected to companies the commission is already familiar with.

BOSTON, MA- May 22, 2019: Chair Cathy Judd-Stein during a meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on May 22, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff photo By Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
BOSTON, MA- May 22, 2019: Chair Cathy Judd-Stein during a meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on May 22, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff photo By Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

– Colin A. Young / SHNS



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