Legal sports wagering operations launched in Massachusetts by state officials and sports legends

Four years after the proposed bill to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts, three state casinos started operating legal sports wagering on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield we ufa365 lcomed officials and celebrities to place their bets several days before the Super Bowl.

Proposal approved:

In January 2019, former Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a bill to have sports wagering regulated in the state following the 2018 Supreme Court‘s ruling against a federal law banning sports betting in the Bay State. The state legislature included the governor’s proposal in the administrative procedure and kept it under review until August 2022, when the plan was finally approved. The state assigned the legal start-up monitoring task to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Tuesday launch:

At the beginning of this week, the Commissioners traveled around the state to help operators set up the wagering facilities and get completely ready for the legal sports betting launch on Tuesday. At the moment, the state casinos Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield are the only three sites approved to accept bets and run sports wagering operations in Massachusetts until March, when mobile sports betting will become available in the state for those aged 21 or above.

Sports legends to place first bets:

As for the Tuesday launch, the three approved state casinos hosted several former athletes to place their bets on Super Bowl, which kicks off Sunday, Feb. 12, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  Encore Boston Harbor invited, among others, Johnny Damon and Cedric Maxwell, Plainridge Park hosted former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich for a ribbon cutting ceremony, while MGM Springfield welcomed the NHL legend, Ray Bourque.

BetMGM – the first operator to go live in the state:

On Tuesday, January 31, the first wager in the Bay State was placed at the BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge by Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the hockey Hall of Famer, Ray Bourque. The milestone made BetMGM the first sports betting operator to go live in Massachusetts and featured MGM Springfield as the first such site.

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Paving the way:

Casino officials and community representatives expressed their gratitude to the state delegation for ”paving the way for opening day.”  Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated: “Thank you to the MGM Springfield team, our local State delegation, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), and everyone involved for their efforts in making this historic event possible. I would like to encourage everyone to come on down and check out this new sports betting lounge.”

State Senator Adam Gomez (D-Springfield) said:  “After all these years, we finally have sports betting in Massachusetts! I was proud to sponsor legislation last session that sought to legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth. To see that newly passed law in action today in my very own city is a humbling experience. BetMGM will bolster our economy locally and statewide. It’s a momentous occasion to have some of the first wagers on sports betting take place in Springfield today.”

State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, added: “Today reaffirms our collective support to pass legislation for sports betting, it will bring more visitors to Springfield’s MGM, create jobs and generate $20-$30 million in revenue to Massachusetts.”