No Vote on Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts Online License Application

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December 7, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, United States; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and head coach Joe Mazzulla against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at the Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission did not vote on a sports betting application from Caesars after a 7-hour session today
  • The commissioners had too many unanswered questions about the application
  • The commissioners also had concerns about a lack of information in the Massachusetts online sports betting license application

Caesars Sportsbook will have to wait at least another day for an online sports betting license in Massachusetts.

Caesars Sportsbook’s application for a Category 3 online sportsbook tethered license received no vote after a nearly 7-hour session by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission today. The commissioners entered an executive session to conclude the session, but did not take a vote on the license application.

Caesars Sportsbook is affiliated with Encore Boston Harbor, which has also partnered with WynnBET for its online sports betting services. WynnBET was awarded the first tethered Category 3 online sportsbook license in state history by the commission on Tuesday.

Caesars Sportsbook not yet approved for online license

The Gambling Commission simply had too many questions about Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts’ license application to vote. commissioner Eileen O’Brien said the motion lacked some necessary information to make her feel comfortable voting, and her colleagues agreed.

Most of the information on the license application is obscured from the public, so it was difficult to determine exactly what was missing from the pages. However, it was clear that the commissioners had concerns about the part of the responsible gaming licensing criteria and the operator’s marketing strategies that might target colleges and underage viewers.

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O’Brien shared major concerns about the responsible gaming section of the application, which asked Caesars to list fines and subpoenas it had received through its online sports betting services. Their answers were lacking, she said, and in some cases lacking substantive information at all.

The gaming commissioners also shared concerns about Caesars Sportsbook’s marketing strategies. O’Brien said the operator’s marketing partnerships with colleges were of concern, noting that he had signed a deal to become the official sportsbook operator for LSU Athletics.

Jeff HenriksCaesar’s SVP of Regulatory and Compliance said that sports betting tailored marketing and advertising to stadiums and events where at least 70% of the participants were of legal age to bet.

“We looked at the demographics in which these types of materials are presented. They were well into their 21s…also, the goal was to reach alumni who were well over the legal betting age,” he said.

Caesars Sportsbook has developed numerous controls to clearly limit any type of direct marketing to persons under the age of 21 and to avoid associations with areas outside of stadiums and arenas. Hendricks assured the Gambling Commission that the operator does not intend to enter into such marketing relationships with Massachusetts colleges.

commissioner Brad Hill Hendricks shared his doubts that Caesars was able to precisely tailor its marketing at college football stadiums or college events to ensure at least 70% of its attendees were 21 years of age or older.

Gaming commission time running out?

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is currently in a marathon of sessions to complete hearings on its remaining tethered Category 3 online sportsbook and Category 1 retail sportsbook licenses, but it appears they are running out of days left in 2022 to complete the task hand.

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Gaming chair Cathy Judd Stone These days were built into the defection schedule, but the hearings were much longer than previously anticipated. The Gambling Commission originally planned to hold multiple hearings in a single day, but appears to only be able to hold one operator hearing per day at best.

It appears that the Gaming Commission has yet to conclude discussions on MGM Springfield’s retail sports betting application, which were postponed last week, begin hearing on BetMGM’s Category 3 license application and come to a conclusion on the Caesars application discussed today. request come.

This is all in addition to the remainder of next week’s schedule, which includes a series of licensing hearings.

On Monday, December 19th, the Gambling Commission scheduled a discussion of Plainridge Park Casino’s application for a Category 1 Sports Betting Retail License. Following the discussion, the commissioners will consider both Barstool Sportsbook and Fanatics’ application for a Category 3 wired online sportsbook license. Last week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission postponed its vote on Plainridge Park Casino’s sportsbook application after questions surfaced about responsible gaming, the casino’s relationship with Penn Sports Interactive, and its parent company’s relationship with Barstool Sports.

If necessary, talks can continue until December 20th.

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Robert Linnehan

Regulatory Author and Editor

Regulatory Author and Editor


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