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BOSTON – Under the “most aggressive” schedule the Gambling Commission’s executive director deems feasible, in-person sports betting could begin in Massachusetts in January, followed by the introduction of mobile betting in late February. But indications from Thursday’s meeting said the commissioners weren’t completely on board.
Placing many caveats at the first real indication of the commission’s thinking regarding the start of legal betting, Executive Director Karen Wells presented the commission on Thursday with a rough timeline of how the next few months of sports betting implementation could play out. takes place in Massachusetts. . She explained that what she presented was not a recommendation, but an illustration of the practical realities of the commission’s process and the time these steps will take.
For example, she said her schedule assumed the commission would approve her sports betting application on Thursday and would not release it for a public comment period. But the commissioners made significant changes to the draft application presented to them Thursday and some indicated they wanted to see the application submitted for public comment.
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“It’s not a definitive schedule,” Wells said. “It’s a conversational tool.”
The commission is under pressure to get legal sports betting going after the Legislature delayed the issue for years, but regulators have encountered hurdles that have complicated their efforts in the two months since Gov. Charlie Baker signed the Betting Act into law. Eager bettors are calling for action, and commissioners have said they want to implement legal sports betting here without undue delay, but also without abandoning their commitment to consumer protection and gaming integrity.
Commissioner Nakisha Skinner repeatedly questioned why the commission was following an “aggressive” schedule and indicated that she was not comfortable with compressing the process in the interest of time.
“If this compressed timeline makes sense and she’s responsible, I’m all for it,” Skinner said. “I just need to understand the reason why this compressed schedule is being advanced, as opposed to a reasonable schedule where the team can achieve it.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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