Mobile sports betting in Massachusetts is expected to begin in March.
Penn Sports Interactive (PSI), which runs the Barstool Sportsbook, received preliminary approval of its temporary mobile sports betting license from the Mass. Gaming Commission (MGC) on Wednesday after a lengthy suitability review.
The final vote was unanimous, but was initially postponed from December and after some conditions.
“Pen Sports Interactive [doing business as] Barstool Sportsbook has shown by substantial evidence that it meets the standards set forth generally,” Commissioner Eileen O’Brien read in drafting the motion, noting that approval was still “provisional suitability.” ” added that it is for
In-person sports betting began in Massachusetts on January 31, with Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield already approved for temporary Category 1 retail sports betting licenses.
Penn Entertainment, which owns a portion of Barstool Sports (which will take full ownership in February as part of the 2022 deal), is a category connected via PSI to Plainridge Park Casino (also operated by Penn). We have applied for 3 mobile sports betting operator licenses. In Massachusetts, he plans to launch mobile sports betting in March, though no specific date has been set.
The terms contained in the motion require PSI to:
- You agree to make every effort to prevent anyone under the age of 21 from attending the live Barstool College Football Show
- Cooperate fully with MGC’s Investigative Enforcement Bureau (IEB) in conducting an “unrestricted” investigation into Barstool Sports Inc. in connection with its branding
- Update the IEB “in relation to the Illinois issues discussed in the executive session”
- Provide diversity targets for supplier spend
- Provide diversity goals for employees
The Barstool Sportsbook’s pre-approval process has never been a smooth one.
“We still have concerns about our branding with Barstool Sports Inc. [stronger] You’re a bar stool connection, so branding … back to pen and sports betting in Massachusetts,” Commissioner O’Brien told PSI spokesperson Benji Levy during Wednesday’s session.
The final result was the second condition attached in the approval. As O’Brien explained, PSI will cooperate “unrestrictedly” with an investigation conducted by the IEB about “Barstool Sports Inc.’s branding efforts related to Penn and his PSI branding.” .
In previous sessions, several MGC Commissioners expressed reservations about Barstool Sports, particularly its founder Dave Portnoy.
At a December hearing on Plainridge Park Casino’s temporary Category 1 status, MGC Commissioner Brad Hill said, “When Mr. Some of the comments I’ve made in the past fly in the face of responsible gaming.” License application. The comment is new york times The November 2022 production chronicles Portnoy’s extensive gambling losses and self-proclaimed status as a ‘degenerate gambler’.
The casino was eventually granted temporary approval, but with similar conditions regarding further IEB investigations.
The commissioner pointed to additional incidents involving bar stool sports originally founded by Portnoy of Massachusetts. One was his $250,000 fine paid by Penn Entertainment in November 2022 after the Ohio Gaming Control Board noted his Barstool Sportsbook regulatory violations.
Another thing happened in 2021 when Penn was fined $10,000 by the Indiana Gaming Commission for a “questionable” TikTok posted by a Barstool Sports employee describing gambling losses.
“We know we’re not perfect and we’ve made mistakes in the past,” Penn Entertainment executive Michael West told commissioners at a meeting on Tuesday. We learned from them and we strive to remain an industry leader in responsible gaming.”
Discussions about the incident continued on Wednesday during the MGC’s “executive session” (closed to the public) with PSI representatives.
Sports betting was officially legalized in the final moments of Massachusetts’ 2022 legislature, but much of the responsibility for implementation was handed over to the MGC to build the regulatory framework. The current MGC process grants temporary licenses in hopes of accelerating the rollout of legalized sports betting, with a formal grant of full licenses to follow after additional his IEB review. There is a possibility.
In addition to the three casinos that have been approved for temporary Category 1 licenses, MGC has now approved or “approved” four mobile operators, including WynnBET, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, for temporary Category 3 licenses, including PSI. determined to be Further hearings for additional applicants are scheduled for late January.
Stay up to date with all the latest news from Boston.com