Mobile sports betting could launch in Massachusetts at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 10, the Gaming Commission's executive director said Thursday morning.
If mobile and online betting, which has generally accounted for 85 to 95 percent of the legal betting market elsewhere, goes live on that date, it would allow for wagers to be placed on the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, which begins March 14.
Executive Director Karen Wells told gaming commissioners Thursday that she is recommending the March 10 launch because it would provide a few days to work out kinks before the major betting event begins and would give the commission the ability to hold a meeting on Monday, March 13 if it needs to respond or react to anything from the weekend.
Wells said a March 10 launch is "dependent on the quality of the internal control submissions" from operators "and their responsiveness to issues raised by GLI," the vendor the commission uses to assess the nuts and bolts of betting operations.
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She said a 10 a.m. start time would work because there are "some events folks might want to wager on" that Friday. Bally's Interactive, FanDuel, Betr, DraftKings, Digital Gaming Corporation USA, and PointsBet Massachusetts are the standalone mobile operators that have been given the go-ahead from regulators to eventually start operations in Massachusetts.
The Gaming Commission has also deemed five operators that will be tethered to one of the state's casino operations preliminarily suitable to conduct mobile wagering: WynnBet, Caesars, BetMGM, Penn Sports Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook, and Fanatics Betting & Gaming.