The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded a retail sports betting license to Plainridge Park Casino despite concerns about Barstool Sports. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
get the green light
Plainridge Park Casino became the third and last Massachusetts casino to receive a retail sports betting license. It received a provisional license from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Tuesday, though the games regulator has concerns about the property’s ties to controversial Barstool Sports.
They voted unanimously to approve the sports betting license
MGC ultimately voted unanimously to approve the sports betting license for the Penn Entertainment-owned property. Certain conditions were set before the vote could take place; Once he meets all the requirements, he will be able to open a retail sportsbook under the Barstool brand at Plainridge Park Casino in early February.
One of the main conditions is that Barstool Sports be subject to a thorough investigation and essential suitability by the Massachusetts Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement when Penn Entertainment completes its acquisition of the sports media company in February 2023. In addition, Barstool Sports can only allow persons who are 21 years of age At least in future Barstool Sports College Football shows.
MGC’s commissioners were concerned about the detrimental impact of Barstool Sports’ presence in the sports betting space as it had large numbers of underage followers. Some Barstool Sports shows have been held on college campuses or nearby.
One such show on the University of Toledo campus led to the company being fined $250,000 by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. During the show, the characters urged the audience to sign up for the betting app Barstool Sports. There were no age restrictions for the event.
Concerns about Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy
The original casino property licensing proposal hearing took place two weeks ago. The commissioners had a lot of concerns about Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy. during The meeting is on TuesdayPenn Entertainment President Jay Snowden clarified that Barstool Sports is merely a marketing partner of Penn Entertainment and has no control over decisions made in the Plainridge Park sportsbook.
Busy time for MGC
The plan was for MGC to also consider the application filed by Penn Sports Interactive on Tuesday regarding an online sports betting licence. However, the meeting was already long, so the topic was postponed until January 3.
The current forecast is that retail sportsbooks will be able to start in late January, while online sportsbooks may be fine to start in March.
It’s been a busy few weeks for MGC as it sifts through the various sports betting license applications it has received; It has already granted retail sports betting licenses to MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor casinos. The gaming regulator also controls some online sports betting licenses, including the BetMGM license.