MGM Springfield provides update on sports betting as gaming commission works on regulations

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission signaled in a public meeting on Thursday that it could be some time before regulations for sports betting are solidified
Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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(WGGB/WSHM) - The Massachusetts Gaming Commission signaled in a public meeting on Thursday that it could be some time before regulations for sports betting are solidified, but once they are, MGM Springfield said they will be ready to go live with sports betting within 90 days.

Just over a week since it was signed into law, the gaming commission continues to delve into the complex sports betting law in order to regulate the new activity.

“In terms of actual infrastructure, physically speaking, MGM Springfield is ready and set to move,” said MGM Springfield Vice President Augustine Kim.

Kim spoke to gaming commissioners in a virtual meeting on Thursday and stressed that the casino is ready and waiting to open its sportsbook.

“You were probably already aware that MGM Springfield had already expended considerable funds, millions of dollars, to construct a sports betting lounge,” Kim added.

Western Mass News has been to the main sports betting lounge, which is complete with captain’s chairs and giant screens, as well as a viewing and betting area at TAP Sports Bar. They are all in place as the casino waits for the framework of regulations to be in place.

“We are very pleased with where we are, in terms of preparation. We are ready to go as soon as, probably, within 90 days of when the regulations become final, we can probably go live hopefully within about a 90-day window,” Kim noted.

The gaming commission has identified more than 200 regulations that must be dealt with including advertising, licensing, and operations, so gamblers could be waiting months before they can walk into the MGM casino and place a sports bet. At one point, a member of the public broke into the live stream meeting.

“You people got no clue what’s going on,” said that member of the public.

There was swift response from the chair of the commission

“I think we’ll definitely have public hearings where they’ll be an opportunity for the public to weigh-in in a really constructive fashion. We don’t want to dismiss your concerns,” said Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein.

She said the commission is doing its best to lay out a pathway for sports betting, but said there is much work to be done to get the industry going.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commision will hold a public hearing on September 15 at 9:30 a.m.