January 31, 2024Colin A. Young, State House News Service
Two of the eight mobile sports betting platforms operating in Massachusetts are planning to stop taking bets here, shrinking a market that has been largely dominated by two companies since it launched in the state less than a year ago.
WynnBet confirmed Wednesday that it plans to cease online wagering in Massachusetts and Betr announced last week that it would not renew its temporary license to take bets in Massachusetts.
Both departures will go before the Mass. Gaming Commission during a meeting Thursday.
The end date of WynnBet operations in Massachusetts depends on the commission’s approval and that the app’s shutdown will not have any effect on the WynnBet Sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, the company said.
The mobile sportsbook, aligned with Encore parent company Wynn Resorts, has already shut down its online wagering operations in seven other states. In August, Wynn said it thought there were “higher and better uses of capital deployment” than “the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting.”
WynnBet reported a handle of $12.45 million for December, less than every other online operator except Betr (less than $500,000) and accounting for less than 2% of the statewide total. DraftKings handled nearly half of all Massachusetts bets settled in December, followed by FanDuel taking nearly 30% of the action, according to Gaming Commission data.
Betr said last month that it would not renew the temporary license it received last spring as it looks to launch in other states. The company said it was “trading a 7 million population state for over 23 million in the net new states for collectively less economics than it would have required to renew in MA alone,” but added that it might want to reenter the Massachusetts betting world at a later date.
The agenda for the Gaming Commission’s meeting Thursday includes discussion of the impacts of Gov. Maura Healey’s fiscal 2025 budget proposal, a review of sports betting operators’ customer service offerings, discussion of a request that regulators clarify something related to Super Bowl prop bets, briefings on at least three incidents in which sportsbooks took illegal bets, and a report from the attorney general’s office related to the regulation of daily fantasy sports.
The agenda also features requests to make additional topics open to betting, such as who will be chosen as a team’s next coach.
Legal sports betting began in Massachusetts one year ago, on Jan. 31, 2023, and legal online betting started March 10, 2023.