Gaming Commission addresses ‘mix-up’ with MGM’s sports betting application
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - With the World Cup underway and being more than halfway through football season, many are still wondering when they can start placing their bets on their favorite sports teams in the Bay State. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission met after applicants, including MGM Springfield, officially submitted for sports wagering last week.
The sports betting bill was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in August. During a meeting on Tuesday, the Gaming Commission focused on one of the applicants, MGM Springfield, which missed the official deadline to apply.
“There was a little miscommunication between MGM Springfield and corporate, which resulted in their application, they submitted their fee on the due date on the 21st, Monday, but the application did not come in until Wednesday,” said Gaming Commission Executive Director Karen Wells.
Augustine Kim, vice president of MGM Resorts, was in attendance at that meeting, representing MGM Springfield and taking the blame for the casino’s mistake with the application process.
“There was a mix-up as to who was doing what portions of the applications and so we were late in getting the application completely put together…That is completely my fault. I apologize, I am so sorry that it happened,” Kim explained.
After a discussion, the Gaming Commission members took a vote and accepted the casino’s application despite it being late.
MGM Springfield was one of three applicants in the state who submitted for a Category 1 operator license for sports betting. Last year, the casino launched a multi-million-dollar sports lounge, designed for all sports betting fans to use once they get the final green light from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. That’s something State Representative Orlando Ramos said he hopes happens soon.
“It sounds like they are making a lot of progress and I feel very encouraged that we are going to be able to meet that deadline for early January,” Ramos said.
Ramos told Western Mass News a study is still underway by the commission to decide if any additional sports wagering licenses should be granted to small businesses.
“I’m hopeful that study will be concluded sometime early spring and next year, the legislature will take action, hopefully, as to how implement those recommendations and give an opportunity for small mom and pop shops to participate,” Ramos added.
In the meantime, the Gaming Commission could vote to approve the first sports betting applicants as early as next week.
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