Massachusetts sports betting license caps busy stretch for MGM Resorts International

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Massachusetts gaming regulators advanced BetMGM online and retail sports betting licenses this week, capping off a busy stretch for parent company MGM.

Along with the two licenses, MGM officially turned over operations of one of its major Las Vegas brick-and-mortar casino properties, announced a new partnership with an NHL franchise and was fined by Maryland regulators for a premature sports betting launch.

MGM set for Massachusetts sports betting

Massachusetts regulators earlier this week found BetMGM suitable for licensure for both a statewide mobile sportsbook as well as a retail book at MGM Springfield. The temporary licenses will allow MGM to open the in-person book in Springfield sometime in January and the statewide mobile platform in March.

MGM was effectively guaranteed slots for both licenses under the state’s 2022 sports betting bill, but they were still required to earn final approval from Massachusetts regulators. The state expects to open up to five retail sportsbooks by late January, ahead of the Super Bowl, and up to 14 mobile sports betting platforms in March, potentially ahead of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, though the timelines are not yet finalized.

Mirage changes hands

Months after announcing it has sold the Mirage to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, MGM and the tribe officially completed the ownership switch earlier this week following approval from Nevada regulators.

The iconic Las Vegas Strip property, which is credited with helping revitalize Las Vegas in the early 1990’s, was sold for just over $1bn to the tribe. Hard Rock officials plan to eventually tear down much of the property, including the legendary volcano on the Strip, and add a guitar-shaped hotel, similar to its flagship property in Hollywood, Florida.

The Mirage was a revolutionary property for Las Vegas, leading to a decade-long boom that transformed the Strip from outdated, smaller casino properties to massive, multi-faceted entertainment venues. Envisioned by casino magnate Steve Wynn, the Mirage was the predecessor for Wynn’s other iconic properties including Treasure Island and the Bellagio.

MGM acquired Wynn’s properties as part of a corporate takeover in the early 2000’s. Wynn then used the funds to create a new company that oversaw the construction of the Wynn and Encore casinos on the north end of the Strip.

MGM was willing to turn over the Mirage in part so it could focus on the Cosmopolitan, a newer casino property it formally acquired in the Las Vegas City Center earlier this year. It is closer to the company’s other properties on the south End of the strip, including the Aria, Vdara, MGM Grand and New York, New York.

BetMGM partners with Nashville Predators

During the same week, the NHL’s Nashville Predators announced BetMGM as its “official sports betting partner.” The deal includes BetMGM signage in Bridgestone Arena, the Predators’ home stadium, as well as plans to open a BetMGM-branded restaurant and bar on the arena’s suite level.

Tennessee and Wyoming are the only states that permit mobile sportsbooks but do not allow in-person options.

The deal continues BetMGM’s partnerships with the NHL. Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid signed a deal with the company, making him one of the first active major North American athletes to sign such an agreement.

BetMGM also has an in-stadium sportsbook at Nationals Park, home of MLB’s Washington Nationals.

Maryland regulators fine BetMGM

Maryland regulators fined BetMGM a little over $145,000 for launching mobile sports betting before the state’s universal start date time.

BetMGM accidentally allowed bets to be placed before the start time agreed to by state regulators. BetMGM is still live taking bets in the state now, along with DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, PointsBet, Barstool and BetRivers.

BetMGM also operates a retail book at MGM National Harbor.

About the author

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Ryan Butler

Ryan is a veteran sports betting and iGaming regulation and breaking news journalist based in the US. A two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner, he has reported on sports and politics since 2012. He has covered the gaming industry since 2018. Ryan graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sport Management.

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