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BetMGM granted Massachusetts betting licence, but with strings attached

| By Dan Kleiner
BetMGM and MGM Springfield have both been granted sports betting licences from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), but conditions were attached to the licence of the former.
Massachusetts August revenue

Issued with a category 1 sports wagering operator licence for Massachusetts, MGM Springfield is now allowed to operate betting at a land-based facility, as well as on up to two online platforms. 

One of its online skins will be provided by BetMGM – an MGM-Entain joint venture – which was also awarded a temporary category 3 sports wagering operator licence. However, this came only under certain conditions.

BetMGM and MGM Springfield had initially applied individually for a Massachusetts sports betting licence. However, the relationship between the two entities created complications as MGM Springfield initially answered questions on the application with reference to BetMGM’s documentation.

As a result, the regulator delayed the vote on approving the licences until yesterday (19 December).

Massachusetts regulator’s concerns

During the regulator’s open meeting, commissioner O’Brien raised concerns about Entain’s record £17m (€20.3m/$20.6m) settlement with the GB Gambling Commission. 

The GB regulator found a series of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) failings across its online and land-based businesses.

Commission staff also noted a penalty paid by BetMGM in Maryland.

Martin Lycka, SVP for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling at Entain, spoke to the regulator at the meeting. He noted improvements Entain have made towards responsible gambling since the incidents in Great Britain, which occured between 2019 and 2020.

As a result of these concerns, BetMGM’s licence approval came with strings attached.

BetMGM must provide a vendor diversity list as well as timely updates on developments to confidential investigations.

The MGC recently awarded its first sports gambling licence to Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor and WynnBET with a tethered licence to operate mobile-based sports betting.

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