The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now an integral part of the NCAA March Madness dance, with legal sports betting having been officially sanctioned in the state.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) granted its first sports betting license to DraftKings, Inc. on Thursday, allowing the daily fantasy sports provider to become the first legalized sportsbook in the state. DraftKings will offer its sportsbook product through its existing mobile app and website.
The issuance of the license marks a monumental moment in the Commonwealth, as it is now the seventh state to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in May 2018. Massachusetts is the first state in New England to do so.
MGC Chairperson Cathy Judd-Stein praised the decision in a statement, noting that DraftKings’ “extensive experience in the sports betting industry, as well as its commitment to the highest levels of compliance, consumer protections, and responsible gaming, made it the clear choice for the first license.”
The Commission also outlined a rigorous set of regulations, including a minimum age of 21, a ban on college and high school sports betting, and the requirement of a “Know Your Customer” policy, which is designed to prevent money laundering.
DraftKings is no stranger to the sports betting world, having offered a similar product in New Jersey since June 2018. In addition to offering sports betting services in Massachusetts, the company will also provide sports betting content to its customers, including “play-by-play” information, statistical insights, and other data-driven analysis.
The arrival of legalized sports betting in the Commonwealth comes at an opportune time, as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is set to begin on March 19. The tournament, which will feature 68 teams vying for the national championship, is sure to attract plenty of attention from bettors in Massachusetts and beyond.
With the launch of legal sports betting in Massachusetts, the state is now well-positioned to join its fellow New England states in the lucrative world of sports betting.
The MGC’s decision to grant DraftKings a license constitutes a major step forward for the Commonwealth, as it adds a whole new layer of excitement to the NCAA’s March Madness tournament. As the first state in New England to legalize sports betting, Massachusetts is now primed to reap the economic rewards of the burgeoning industry.