Twenty-Four Operators In the Running For MA Online Sports Betting Licenses
As the Massachusetts sports betting launch approaches in 2023, it’s no surprise that market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings are among the operators vying for a license to offer online sports wagering in the state. The pool of 24 companies battling for a license includes a mix of scrappy newcomers and other established brands looking to expand their geographic reach. Since only seven online sports betting licenses will be granted in Massachusetts, the competition in the pool is fierce.
The Market Leaders
FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings already have a presence in Massachusetts via daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. When it comes to online sports betting, FanDuel is the national leader with 38% of the market share, while DraftKings is second.
As both offer mobile betting in over a dozen states each, bettors should expect to see them among Massachusetts’s seven approved online sports wagering operators. Both platforms have been among the first to launch in other states where sports betting is already live.
Experienced Players With A Smaller Market Share
MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Bally’s, and Caesars Entertainment are well-known casino brands that have expanded into mobile sports betting. MGM and Wynn are already in Massachusetts as owners of two of the state’s three casinos: MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. Given their history of approval for mobile wagering in other states, MGM and Wynn will most likely be permitted to roll out their apps, BetMGM and WynnBET, in Massachusetts.
Bally Bet and Caesars Sportsbook are the other two sportsbooks associated with large casino companies applying for a Massachusetts mobile sports betting license.
Operators Looking to Expand
The remaining pool of companies looking to grow their mobile betting operations and enter the Massachusetts market include those that began as retail sportsbooks in other regions of the US or abroad.
BetRivers owns a casino in Philadelphia and began its mobile betting operations in 2019. Several gambling companies with overseas roots are rapidly making inroads in the US market. Those that are looking to enter Massachusetts include:
- Bet365 (UK)
- Betfred (UK)
- Betway (Malta)
- Buddybet (Australia)
- Clutchbet (Australia)
- Easywin (Nigeria)
- Novibet (Malta)
- PointsBet (Australia)
- Unibet (Malta)
Within the past year or so, a diverse crop of newcomers has made moves to offer online sports wagering and are applying for a Massachusetts license. Some have already entered the market in other states, while others are still in the planning or pre-launch stage.
Social media personality Jake Paul and a group of celebrity investors plan to launch Betr, a microbetting app for placing wagers on moments during sports events.
Fantasy sports contest operator Underdog is in the process of adding sports betting to its offerings.
Men’s lifestyle magazine Maxim entered a partnership to launch MaximBet, a sports betting app available in Colorado and Indiana.
Two Native American-owned ventures are also in the mix of Massachusetts applicants: Mohegan Digital and Seminole Hard Rock Casino.
The Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut owns Mohegan Digital and the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., as well as several other casino properties in the US and Canada. Previously, the tribe had plans to open a casino in Palmer, Mass., but residents voted to reject the proposal in 2014.
Seminole Hard Rock Digital, a partnership of Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, briefly offered a sports betting app in Florida in late 2021. However, the app was discontinued before the end of 2021 due to a series of lawsuits over sports wagering in the state.
What The Future Holds For All Applicants
Each applicant for a sports wagering license in the state, retail or online, had until October 17 to submit a required survey to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The next deadline is November 21, when applicants must submit a completed application and a $200,000 processing fee.
Currently, the state’s tentative timeline for launching online sports betting is February or March, with retail sportsbooks opening earlier and in time for betting on the Super Bowl.