MGM Springfield prepares for this week’s mobile sports betting launch

After Massachusetts became the 36th state to legalize sports betting and open in-person retail sportsbooks in January, you can get in on the action right from t
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 4:57 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:22 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The launch of mobile sports betting in Massachusetts is just three days away. Western Mass News is getting answers on what we can expect and what you should know before it goes live.

After Massachusetts became the 36th state to legalize sports betting and open in-person retail sportsbooks in January, you can get in on the action right from the palm of your hand starting in just a few days.

On March 10th, mobile sports betting will launch in the Bay State, just days before “the Big Dance.” It comes over a month after in-person retail sportsbooks opened at three casinos, including MGM Springfield on January 31st.

“Everywhere around us, Connecticut, Rhode Island, it’s legalized,” said WNEU student Ben Weldon. “We go down to Rhode Island and sports bet, so it’s cool to be coming to our state.”

Seven mobile apps – including BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel – will go live on Friday with three more set to launch in the future.

Western Mass News is taking a look at the variety of sportsbooks that are offering promotions for the big day – claim $200 to pre-register for BetMGM, $100 in free bets on DraftKings, and four figures of credit at Caesars Sportsbook.

“Because the house never loses and they have money to give you, and if they give you $200, I think they’re going to come out ahead,” said WNEU Sports Management Department Chair, Professor Jim Masteralexis.

Many sportsbooks are enlisting Boston sports celebrities, including FanDuel’s partnership with former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.

“I thought the Gronk Super Bowl promotion was pretty cool,” Weldon said. “It was unfortunate that he missed it, but I thought it was a cool promotion.”

With the launch of mobile sports betting comes an ability to gamble on a multitude of outcomes. Who wins the game? Who will score the next touchdown? Will the next pitch of a baseball game be a ball or strike?

“It’s just a permeation of being able to bet on anything in our society, and I think people are gonna look at sports differently,” Professor Masteralexis told us.

Some are choosing to sit on the sidelines.

“I don’t have enough money for that,” said WNEU student Zach Osterman. “I do fantasy and I do Super Bowl squares, but that’s low enough money for me and infrequent enough to afford.”

Meanwhile at MGM Springfield and online, a program called Gamesense is available to help players, who can talk to advisers with extensive training in all forms of gambling, to know their odds and even place themselves on a self-exclusion list to set limits or cut yourself off entirely.

As part of the lead up to Friday’s launch, BetMGM announced a partnership Tuesday, which will make them the official sports betting partner of the Boston Red Sox. MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley released a statement to Western Mass News, saying:

“MGM Springfield in western Massachusetts has been a destination for New England’s baseball fans. We’re proud to host the Annual Red Sox Winter Weekend at the resort and, through Gamesense, remain committed to offering an enjoyable and responsible experience for our guests, customers, and MGM Rewards members.”

You can find more information on Gamesense HERE. You can also contact the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program at 1-800-426-1234, or go to their website for more details.

Additionally, if needed, you may reach the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800–GAMBLER, or the Massachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-327-5050.