Massachusetts Sports Betting Rules Debate – NBC Boston

Regulators at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission can now move from hypothetical to actual applications as they have more than a dozen applications for sports betting licenses on their hands and the public purge of those applications is expected to begin once the calendar switches to December.

The Gambling Commission had received a total of 15 applications from sports betting operators by Monday’s deadline, including just six applications for the seven mobile-only betting-only licenses available, the commission announced on Monday.

The Gambling Commission is working to bring legal betting to Massachusetts with a “late January” target to begin in-person betting in the casinos and slot machines and an “early March” target for mobile betting to begin. This schedule would allow for in-person betting through the Super Bowl and online betting through March Madness.

A schedule has been approved for the introduction of sports betting in Massachusetts.

Regulations, due for final approval at the Commission’s December 1 meeting, set out the process by which regulators will review applications and the criteria they will use. No one commented on the regulations during their official public hearing Tuesday morning with a view to finalizing them next week.

First, Executive Director Karen Wells (or her designee) reviews each request for “administrative completeness”. If a company submitted its application early, it had until Monday to resolve any administrative issues with its filing. If administrative weaknesses are found after the deadline, the company must apply to the Commission for an extension of the deadline in order to update its application.

Once an application passes Wells’ administrative review, it moves on to the full five-person panel for merit review. Officers have broad powers to refer applications to investigators, other agencies and outside consultants, and to require the applicant to provide additional information.

The pending regulations list a number of factors for regulators to analyze and consider “in no particular order and with or without particular weighting”, such as an applicant’s experience with sports betting, an applicant’s specific technology plans to be used, the workplaces and economic benefits an applicant can offer Massachusetts, responsible gaming plans and more. According to the regulations, the commissioners must “discuss license applications in a public session”.

In the meantime, the Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will be conducting background investigations into the eligibility of all companies and executives wishing to place sports bets here.

When it comes to the six applications received by the Commission for the maximum of seven mobile-only betting licenses, the pending regulations require the officers to “take into account the differences between the applicants as they relate to other applicants or licensees for sports betting licenses, and how granting a particular combination of claims would maximize overall benefits and minimize overall harm or risk of harm to the Commonwealth.”

The Commission had given itself leeway to use a competitive scoring system to sort out the applications, but this system may not be necessary as the number of applications did not break the legal cap.

The application review process may also include (or require, as in the case of standalone mobile-only licenses) one or more public hearings for the Commission to “obtain public feedback on sports betting license applications, allow any applicant to make a presentation; and allow any applicant to respond to questions or public comments as directed by the Chair or his designee.” The regulations later include a line mandating “an opportunity for public feedback at one or more public meetings” before the commission makes a final one Can decide on a standalone mobile-only license.

At the December 1 commission meeting, regulators could also give their final okay to regulations detailing the sports betting tax collection process, the process for the commission to regulate and license or register operators, and the formal commission definitions for sports betting anchor .

At one point, the commission planned to hold a regular business meeting on Tuesday. A notice of the meeting released on Friday proposed an agenda that would have included an update on sports betting applications received by the commission by Monday’s deadline, a status report on casino operations and a discussion of IT issues related to public records requests. No substantive votes were considered and the meeting was canceled about three hours after it was announced.

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