Massachusetts gaming regulators have approved a sports betting license for Encore Boston Harbor, making it the first casino in the Bay State to receive the sportsbook green light. The Encore Boston Harbor was one of three casinos to undergo application hearings by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) this week.
However, the other two casinos have hit hurdles that set back their attempts to gain sports betting licenses. The MGM Springfield and the Plainridge Park Casino both saw their applications halted for different reasons.
In Plainridge’s case, the commissioners took umbrage with the casino’s sportsbook operator Penn Entertainment and its subsidiary Barstool Sports. In particular, they expressed concern with Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy and his allegations made against his personal character.
For MGM Springfield, the issue was merely a clerical one as problems were found in the paperwork of their application.
Encore Boston met no such obstacles, with the MGC giving them approval by a 5-0 margin. This puts the Everett-based casino on track for a late January launch, although it must make more preparation before its patrons start placing sports wagers.
Encore Boston Harbor VP Jacqui Krum commented: “We can’t tell you how excited we are. We’re very pleased that we built the sportsbook when we did and that we finally get to open it and use it as a sportsbook.”
Krum will be especially pleased as Encore also met opposition from the MGC, much like the other two sportsbook applicants this month. MGC requested a private hearing about Encore’s odds-betting provider, WynnBet over concerns about its compliance history.
After the hearing, Krum commented: “if one of our vendors, whether it’s WynnBet or any of the others, caused us to breach any of the regulations or our internal controls, we would accept responsibility for that.”