MASSACHUSETTS, MA — Anyone who’s been watching a Bruins game, a Celtics game, or pretty much any other sports-related program in Massachusetts over the past few weeks couldn’t get away from the series of ads from mobile sports betting companies proclaiming that mobile and online betting is “coming soon” across the state.
Now, those looking to place their bets on their phones from the comfort of their own homes — without having to go to one of the state’s three casinos, as has been the case since Jan. 31 — know the minute they should get into the Action.
The Massachusetts State Gaming Commission during its Tuesday session gave the green light for a 10 a.m. launch for the seven betting sites and phone apps to flip the switch and begin accepting bets on March 10. The timing, which was targeted earlier this year before the NCAA basketball tournaments begin, allows for several betting days ahead of Day 1 of the Men’s College Basketball Tournament Opening Ceremony on March 14th.
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College sports fans have been allowed to bet on collegiate sports at casinos since Jan. 31, with the exception of Massachusetts colleges – which can only be legally bet on if they play in a postseason tournament like the men’s or women’s March Madness at a college -Football bowl game.
“It will really be to the Commonwealth’s advantage that ahead of one of the country’s biggest sporting events – March Madness – it looks like everything is about to kick off,” MGC Commissioner Jordan Maynard said on Tuesday.
The March 10th 10:00 launch applies to the seven mobile betting sites that will be reviewed for final certification on March 9th. Three more applications are expected to hit the Massachusetts market over the next few months and years, but won’t be ready for next week.
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The seven betting sites – some of which have already started promoting introductory betting promotions and asking potential users to download their applications ahead of the March 10 launch – are Barstool Sportsbook, Bet MGM, Betr, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel and WynnBet.
MGC Executive Director Karen Wells said the seven cellular services all appear to be on track to earn certification for the 10am March 10 launch
“We’re getting very positive results from the tests,” she said, “and from the interim control reviews. So we don’t see any problems there.
“Things seem to be going well.”
BallyBet and Fanatics Sportsbook are targeting a May launch, while Betway is expected to seek approval for the application sometime in 2024.
(Scott Souza is Patch Field Editor for Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, and Swampscott. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)