- Legal States
Silvia Pavlof November 11, 2022 3 min read
MA Regulator Changes Licensing Rules for Horse Racing and Simulcasting Tracks
At a meeting that took place on November 10, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided to change the requirement for horse racing and simulcasting tracks to submit their sports betting applications before the deadline of November 21 and instead accept their bids on a rolling basis.
Racetracks and Simulcasting Tracks Will Submit Sports Betting Applications on a Rolling Basis
MassLive reported that the main reason for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s decision was that Raynham Park and Sterling Suffolk Racecourse have said they will not be able to submit their paperwork on time.
Consequently, the Commission decided to split the horserace and simulcasting tracks from the casino and online operators and accept their applications on a rolling basis. However, the casinos and online sports betting operators shall have to keep the November 21 deadline.
The Raynham Park and Sterling Suffolk Racecourse have noted that they need more time to secure a sportsbook partnership and renovate or find a new land-based location for their upcoming retail sports betting offerings.
During a meeting in October, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed on a launch date for the retail sports betting market in the state at the beginning of January 2023, while online sports betting was set to be launched at the beginning of March 2023.
These dates are not fixed, however, as the Commission may decide to move them in case it needs more time for the development of further regulations and/or the process of granting licenses.
The Raynham Park and Sterling Suffolk Racecourse Are Looking for Sportsbook Partnerships
In order to conduct sports betting operations, the Raynham Park and Sterling Suffolk Racecourse need to partner with a sportsbook.
Raynham Park is currently in negotiations with several sportsbooks and hopes to sign a partnership within a couple of weeks.
The company has said it is looking for a partner that will help it acquire the biggest possible market share, which means that they are negotiating with major sportsbook operators that are established in the US market and have a proven credibility track record.
Sterling Suffolk Racecourse is also on the negotiation table but has not been able to give much detail on how the process is going. However, the company is also looking at high-end providers that will give it a head start on the Massachusetts sports betting market.
The completion of the sports betting license application by Sterling Suffolk Racecourse is further complicated by the fact that the company still needs to find a physical venue where it can house its retail sportsbook.
Raynham Park has the advantage of already developing a 30,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar facility in Bristol County, which will house its retail sportsbook, but the company still needs to finish it before it starts sports wagering operations.