Posted on: October 14, 2022, 01:31h.
Last update on: October 14, 2022, 01:56h.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is facing a lot of criticism for being slow to allow legal sports betting operations to start. In order to expedite the process, the Regulatory Committee engaged independent third parties.
The MGC is responsible for determining how sports betting licenses will be distributed and the conditions governing the industry going forward. The commission was slow to decide on many critical elements, including whether university sports taking place inside the Commonwealth or games involving a state university will be permitted.
The agency must also decide on enforcement criteria that will ensure the state’s goal of licensing sports betting in a “diverse, fair, and inclusive” manner is achieved.
Massachusetts lawmakers and Governor Charlie Baker (R) legalized sports betting earlier this year. The law subjects retail sports betting to a tax of 12.5% on sports betting revenue and 15% on online books. Each licensed operator will have to pay the state a license fee of $5 million every five years.
In addition to these regulations, the MGC is responsible for finalizing all other conditions governing sports betting.
MGC executive director Karen Wells updated the five commissioners this week regarding third-party contracts.
The commission’s chief of staff said audit and consultancy firm RSM had been tasked with assisting the MGC’s Office of Investigations and Enforcement with background checks. RSM is based in Chicago.
Wells also explained that Gaming Laboratories International, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in online gaming and online sports betting testing and regulatory compliance, was hired to help the state with its technical standards and internal controls. Wells said the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit will help the MGC determine the suitability of sports betting applicants.
MGC’s chief executive summed up that third-party contracts will be “huge for our implementation schedule.”
It’s a great victory for the MGC to get them on board. I know the team is really happy to have that kind of help and that level of professionalism,” Wells concluded, as reported by the State House Press Service in Massachusetts.
The Gaming Commission has set a goal to have physical sports betting up and running in time for the Super Bowl on February 12, 2023.
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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission hopes to allow in-person sports betting at the state’s three casinos by the end of January 2023. Online operations are expected to follow a month or two later.
Wells said the goal was for retail and online sportsbooks to take bets by “early March”. The MGC executive said the sportsbook has added extra duties to her staff. But the agency is working diligently to implement the 2022 law.
“As you know, we all have our day jobs, we still run an agency here. So providing that help is essential for us with the schedule,” Wells explained to the MGC.