Betr will cease operations in Massachusetts on Feb. 16, and WynnBet will follow suit on Feb. 23.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) approved plans for both operators to cease operations in the Massachusetts sports betting market in its meeting Thursday.
Both operators appeared before the commission last week to submit their cessation plans, but a lengthy discussion and an otherwise packed meeting agenda led to the votes being tabled for this week.
Betr exits Massachusetts sports betting market
Betr will provide notice to patrons of closure within two business days of approval of their cessation plans, and that notice will explain how patrons can withdraw their funds until the Feb. 16 cessation date. The company will also publish an FAQ page on its website and app for what happens to funds that are not claimed by the cessation date. The operator stopped offering sign-up bonuses on Feb. 6 and has already stopped taking bets as well.
The commission also approved a waiver of the 90-day notice requirement for intention to cease operations in the Bay State. The commission was complimentary of Betr’s cessation plan and overall presentation, gladly approved that waiver, and quickly approved the cessation plan right after.
Cathy Judd-Stein, chair of the MGC, acknowledged the unique offering that Betr brought to sports betting in Massachusetts.
“We looked at the spectrum of the market and the product you offered was different and I know that during our assessment that mattered, at least to this commissioner,” she said.
WynnBet bows out, too
WynnBet’s cessation date is also the same day its license expires.
Within 48 hours of approval of their cessation plan, WynnBet will shut off all sports wagering markets so that no wagers can be placed and will also stop all deposits. This could happen as soon as Monday at 11 a.m. In that same 48-hour window, WynnBet will send notice to patrons indicating closure of operations and that they’ll have 30 days to withdraw funds.
Customers will then receive a weekly reminder to withdraw their funds. Patrons that don’t withdraw funds in time will be contacted within 10 business days to settle. More information about this will be posted on the company’s website, social media, and app as well.
The commission also granted a waiver of the 90-day notice requirement as they did for Betr. There was little discussion and no debate about WynnBet’s cessation plan during this part of the meeting, and the commission quickly voted 5-0 to approve the plan.
What will come of Wynn’s retail sportsbook in Massachusetts?
The final item on the meeting’s agenda was about the WynnBet Sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor and what the plans for it are after WynnBet exits the market.
Jacqui Krum, SVP and general counsel of Encore Boston Harbor, confirmed that WynnBet will no longer provide sportsbook support services to Encore, and Encore will fully operate the sportsbook itself.
WynnBet formerly provided a number of advisory services including coordination with third-party technology providers, but Encore has already developed a relationship with these providers and their in-house IT team is equipped to handle this directly.
Encore’s marketing team will assume full responsibility for all marketing initiatives moving forward. All legal and compliance advisory services will be handled by the respective teams at Encore, too.
“We do believe this will be a seamless transition,” Krum said confidently.
Somewhat surprisingly, Encore has not yet reached a decision on what the retail sportsbook will be called moving forward. This triggered some commissioners to wonder if there were any material changes to the existing Encore application that was originally approved and if the commission would need to review the application again under the new circumstances. Caitlin Monahan, interim director of the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, said it would not be necessary. It was also determined that the name does not necessarily present any legal or consumer protection challenges.
The remaining online sportsbooks in Massachusetts
With Betr and WynnBet exiting the scene, the Massachusetts sports betting market will feature six online sports betting sites. DraftKings and FanDuel maintain a lion’s share of the market, while BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Fanatics Sportsbook and ESPN Bet compete for roughly 20% of the total market share.
Ashwin Krishnan, Betr’s head of legal and business affairs, did suggest that the operator could seek re-entry into the Bay State at some point in the future though.