On Monday, Gaming regulators in Massachusetts issued a sports betting license to MGM Springfield. With the new permit, the brand was given the green light to launch its land-based sports betting at the beginning of next year when gambling has its legal start in the state of Massachusetts.
Before sports betting has even launched in the Bay State, MGM Springfield became the second casino to receive a sports betting license for land-based operations in Massachusetts.
Despite Receiving Sports Betting License MGM Springfield Faces Criticism
Receiving the sports betting license for MGM Springfield has been anything but smooth sailing. Officials had to overcome plenty of obstacles and answer the concerns of regulators. Last month, the casino was not able to meet an important deadline for the application process. This caused a delay after the state’s Gaming Commission cleared off a very important vote.
Although the issuing of the MGM Springfield sports betting license did receive unanimous approval, the voting process on Monday was quite burdensome as numerous officials and lawyers had to argue in favor of MGM Springfield.
Several main concerns for regulators were the lawsuit the casino was facing, the huge backlash from several Springfield politicians during the previous week, and the relationship MGM Springfield is going to share with BetMGM.
While the vote had to be held on December 7, the process was delayed after it was decided that MGM Springfield was not completely transparent about BetMGM’s technology as well as the company’s compliance with restrictions imposed by other jurisdictions.
Some of the aforementioned points were also revisited by Commissioner Nakisha Skinner during the Monday hearing. One of those issues was the way MGM Springfield is plannings to handle its operations when BetMGM will play a major part in the operations of the land-based sportsbook in Springfield.
Attorney Jed Nosal ensured that BetMGM is simply a provider of services for MGM Springfield, and as such it has no control over the casino and the future sports betting operations at MGM Springfield.
Springfield Officials Concerned About MGM Springfield’s Ability to Fulfill Its Promises
During the hearing, it was obvious the Springfield officials had their doubts about whether MGM Springfield will be able to live up to its original casino launch promises. Commissioner Chair Cathy Judd-Stein shared that there were numerous public comments from members of the community about the casino’s compliance with city rules the company agreed on when applying for the license.
According to MGM officials, in-person sports betting at MGM Springfield will be offered at point-of-sale counters operated by the casino’s staff or via automated kiosks. During its original license hearing, the casino company revealed it had designated a $4 million lounge, with a 45-foot screen, which will broadcast sporting events. The lounge would also include a bar with chairs, enclosed wagering counters as well as a room where punters can find the betting kiosks.
With the launch of its sports betting section, the casino plans to provide seven additional full-time positions and another six part-time positions.