A Look At Five Newcomers To The Massachusetts Sports Betting Race
Sports betting companies were quick to put their names down when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) compiled a list of sportsbook licensee hopefuls on Sept. 1. A total of 42 companies are on the list. Some of them are the biggest names in the sports betting business. Some are relative newcomers.
All of them want a Massachusetts sports betting license. For operators, only 15 mobile licenses and five retail licenses will be available. Today we take a look at five less familiar names among the full list of 42 to get some idea of what each company might bring to the pending Bay State sports betting market.
BarberTime Media Network
The BarberTime Media Network (TBMN) is a network of radio, TV, print, and tech ventures that grew from a barbershop in the company’s hometown of Boston. Programming includes an on-air and online broadcast from barbershops and salons, the BarberTime AM morning talk radio, and the “OBC” LIVE Online Battle Championships that allow barbers to showcase their skills in live competition with other shops.
Although TBMN has notified the MGC of its intent to seek a sports betting operator license, little is known publicly about the company’s plans. It is possible that TBMN is interested in operating sports betting kiosks at barbershops and salons – something that is not possible under current law. In-person sports betting is only legal at the state’s three commercial casinos and two simulcast facilities under the sports betting law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker this year.
Massachusetts state lawmakers could expand state law to allow kiosks at barbershops and other small retailers sometime in the future. Just don’t expect any action this year.
Massachusetts will allow legal betting on esports when sports betting goes live in the Bay State. One company interested in tapping into the commonwealth’s esports betting market is G3 Esports – a New Jersey-based iGaming firm that defines itself as “revolutionizing a new generation of Play, Watch, and Wager” for video game players and fans.
G3 was the muscle behind Conference One which G3 defines as “the nation’s first varsity-level collegiate esports league which launched its inaugural season featuring competitions with over 60 universities including Penn State, Rutgers, Texas A&M and UC Irvine.” That kind of ingenuity could mean a lot of revenue from legal esports in the college-rich Bay State as esports viewership grows in the US.
PlayUp Interactive MA (Play Up)
PlayUp is the official mobile and retail sportsbook partner of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils with mobile apps now live in New Jersey and Colorado. It markets itself as the “People’s Sportsbook” and advertises “fair limits, great pricing, and the highest quality of customer service in the industry.”
It is uncertain at this point how that pricing would stack up against BetMGM (which has a retail operation in Massachusetts) and other top brands expected in to launch in the Bay State.
Mojo Interactive (Mojo)
Mojo is a New York-based company expected to launch later this year. The company is selling itself as a “sports stock market” where sports fans can trade athlete stock and build stock portfolios. Think futures derivatives on player stats, according to a March 9 story in TechCrunch.
But Massachusetts is licensing sports betting operators. It’s uncertain if MGC regulations would allow for a stock-market twist or what those regulations would look like. With 225 regulations on the way, however, it’s possible that state gaming regulations could potentially allow some wiggle room for whatever Mojo has in mind.
Novibet is a European iGaming and online sportsbook with plans to launch online sports betting and iGaming in the US next year. Access will come through a 10-year agreement between Caesars Entertainment and Novibet to operate online sports betting and iGaming in New Jersey and iGaming in Pennsylvania.
The company’s interest in Massachusetts sports betting indicates that it has larger aspirations in the northeastern US, and possibly beyond.
“The expansion of our iCasino platform into new regulated markets, including in North America, is a major pillar of our growth strategy,” Novibet CEO George Athanasopoulos said in an Aug. 8 press release. “We expect to replicate this success in the new North American markets we enter by remaining true to our operating disciplines and leveraging the proven popularity of our product offerings that feature more than 5,000 video slots, 220 live table games and 180 progressive jackpot games from over 120 online content providers as well as an innovative sports betting offering following the receipt of required respective regulatory approvals.”
The List of 42 Companies Interested in Massachusetts Sports Betting
The list of all 42 companies that notified MGC of their intent to seek a sports betting license, once the application process is underway, includes the following:
- 888 US, Inc. (888 Holdings) – Formerly William Hill
- American Wagering, Inc. (Caesars Sportsbook)
- Bally’s Interactive, LLC
- BarberTime Media Network, Inc.
- BetFred USA Sports, LLC
- BetMGM, LLC
- Betr Holdings, Inc.
- Blue Bet USA, Inc.
- Blue Tarp reDevelopment, LLC (An MGM company)
- CG Trading, Inc. (MaximBet)
- Commonwealth Equine & Agricultural Center LLC (CEAC
- Crown MA Gaming, LLC (Draft Kings)
- Digital Gaming Corporation USA
- FanDuel Group, Inc.
- FanLogic, LLC
- FBG Enterprises OPCO, LLC (Bet Fanatics)
- FSST Interactive, LLC (Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota)
- Fubo Gaming Inc. (Fubo Sportsbook)
- G3 Esports, LLC
- GAN Nevada, Inc
- Hillside [New Media Holdings US] Inc. (“Bet365”)
- Massachusetts NYX Digital Gaming (USA), LLC
- Massasoit Greyhound Association, Inc.
- Mohegan Digital, LLC
- Mojo Interactive, Inc. (Mojo)
- Novibet USA, Inc.
- Penn Sports Interactive, LLC (“PSI”).
- Plainville Gaming and Redevelopment, LLC (“PPC)
- PlayStar Gaming Inc.
- PlayUp Interactive MA, LLC (Play Up)
- PointsBet Massachusetts, LLC. (D.B.A PointsBet).
- PT Services (Delaware) LLC dba “Playtech One”
- RSI MA, LLC (Rush Street Interactive)
- RW BET MA, LLC (Resorts World Bet)
- Seminole Hard Rock Digital, LLC
- SG Gaming, Inc.
- Sportradar Solutions, LLC
- SportsX, LLC
- Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC
- Unibet Interactive, Inc.
- Victory Game Challenge, Inc.
- WSI US, LLC (Wynn BET)
What’s Next For Massachusetts Sports Betting?
It is up to the MGC to finalize regulations and the application process to allow any eligible company – including those that haven’t yet notified the commonwealth of their interest in a license – to apply for a sports betting license in anticipation of a go-live date before Super Bowl 2023.
Those regulations could be approved before the end of the year. A projected launch date has yet to be announced.