Maintain your horses, eager sports activities bettors.
State officers who could be liable for licensing and regulating sports activities betting signaled Thursday that it could take extra time to make sports activities betting a actuality in Massachusetts.
With a invoice now on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk, some supporters have expressed hope that Bay Staters can place bets in time for the beginning of soccer season.
Nonetheless, the Massachusetts Gaming Fee mentioned Thursday that if the invoice is signed into regulation, setting detailed guidelines for sports activities betting operators would take no less than a number of months. The method in different states which have already legalized sports activities betting has typically taken longer.
“I would like the general public to know, as we as commissioners are starting to know, that this isn’t one thing that is going to occur in a single day,” mentioned Commissioner Brad Hill. He added, “It will take just a little longer than folks anticipate, and I am okay with that as a result of I wish to do it proper.”
A number of commissioners mentioned they’ve been busy planning to legalize sports activities betting for months, however the Gaming Fee didn’t present its personal particular timeline for the beginning of authorized betting in Massachusetts.
The formal regulatory course of takes two to a few months from begin to end, a fee legal professional mentioned, and most license software processes in different states take three to 6 months, a fee official mentioned.
Nonetheless, Home Speaker Ron Mariano mentioned he expects the state’s two casinos which have already put in sports activities books “will open virtually as quickly because it begins.” State Sen. Eric Lesser mentioned on sports activities radio this week that the fee instructed him “it should take about 90 days” for them to start out issuing licenses.
“So that you’re speaking about perhaps October that the entire thing might work. So , fairly quickly, and positively for the autumn soccer season,” Lesser mentioned.
If the invoice is signed by the governor, one of many fee’s first steps might be to carry a roundtable with its present licensees — Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park On line casino, and simulcast facilities Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs — to to get extra particulars on their plans for sports activities betting operations and to get their enter because the fee decides to manage the brand new exercise.
Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein mentioned she envisions different comparable roundtables “within the coming weeks and months” with accountable gaming organizations and different stakeholders.
Commissioners instructed operators and potential bettors they’ll count on the identical diploma of scrutiny from the fee that the state’s on line casino operators obtained after they utilized for licenses a few decade in the past.
Commissioners have been cautious as their assembly started Thursday to usually level out that sports activities betting remains to be unlawful in Massachusetts and to remind listeners that they have been simply taking pretty restricted steps to arrange to maneuver quickly if Baker indicators the invoice to legalize sports activities betting.
“Whereas that invoice is on the governor’s desk, there isn’t any means to determine authorized sports activities betting within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So there are dangerous operators who should be seeking to win prospects on this time of transition,” Judd-Stein mentioned. . “So once more, we remind the general public that sports activities betting is no longer authorized in Massachusetts.”
With extra reporting by WBUR’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa.