A landmark moment
The Encore Boston Harbor casino resort is the first recipient of a sports betting license in Massachusetts.
on track to open a retail sportsbook early in 2023
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) gave the green light to the Wynn Resorts-owned property on Thursday. License approval means that the casino is on track to open a retail sportsbook early in 2023. The MGC hopes to have retail sportsbooks up and running in time for the Super Bowl in February.
The casino’s official Twitter account commemorated the milestone on Thursday:
Dealing with commissioner questions
At one point it looked like commissioners might defer a vote on the proposal over questions about WynnBET, which will act as the retail sportsbook provider at the property. Commissioner Nakisha Skinner asked casino officials to provide information regarding WynnBET’s possible license suspensions and compliance history. Casino officials were happy to do so, but only in the non-public executive session.
Following the executive session, commissioner Skinner noted some of WynnBET’s “very concerning activity,” but he also highlighted that it was not WynnBET’s license application in question. Encore Boston Harbor vice president Jacqui Krum said that the casino will accept full responsibility for any regulatory breaches from vendors.
We’re very pleased that we built the sportsbook when we did”
Encore Boston Harbor officials were delighted to hear the news on Thursday. Following a day-long meeting, the casino’s vice president Jacqui Krum said: “We’re very pleased that we built the sportsbook when we did and that we finally get to open it and use it as a sportsbook.”
Encore Boston Harbor plans to have ten live betting windows in its sports bar. Betting kiosks will be spread across the property, including in a dedicated kiosk room.
Other casinos face votes next week
Massachusetts’ two other casinos also had hearings this week relating to their sports betting license applications. The MGC deferred its vote on both the MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park applications due to varying concerns.
In the case of the MGM Springfield, some have taken issue with the intertwining of the casino’s application with a submission from the BetMGM online sportsbook operator.
Meanwhile, the MGC is taking longer to assess Plainridge Park due to its relationship with the controversial online personality Dave Portnoy. Commissioners expressed their reservations about Portnoy’s gambling behavior and the influence he might have on young audiences when advertising sports betting through Penn Entertainment’s Barstool Sports brand.
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