After the countdown to 10:00 a.m., bets for the specified time may begin to be accepted in Massachusetts. With a $50 bill standing across from a bettor, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno bet on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl.

He received the ticket from the clerk and told the gathered media: “Big win for Springfield, big win for MGM, big win for Massachusetts”.

And with that, legalized sports betting began Tuesday at MGM Springfield casinos and statewide. It was the first time that three casinos were able to accept betting directly on a sporting event.

The Springfield casino brought together elected officials, dignitaries and casino employees and attracted media attention from all over New England.

Speakers at the ceremony, held at MGM’s sportsbook, touted the benefits the new attraction would bring to the casino and the city.

Chris Kelly, president of MGM Springfield, said, “We admire the multiplier effect this social experience will have on restaurants, retailers, games and the city’s economic engine.

Sarno received a similar message before placing his bet.

“And maybe you’ll make a score, make some money, and decide whether to go out and have a good time at the casino here or at one of our other facilities in downtown Springfield. “But it’s another comfort of this unique attraction here in the City of Springfield, and it goes hand in hand.”

Massachusetts lags behind neighboring states such as Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Hampshire in allowing sports betting. It took Congress many years to agree to it. And in what almost didn’t happen last year, at midnight on August 1, the final day of formal sessions, lawmakers reached an agreement and former Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill into law.

From that point on, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, tasked with regulating the new industry, moved aggressively to get it up and running. , evaluated and approved licenses for casinos to place bets, and tested the software and systems used by the state’s three in-person sportsbooks.

Cathy Judd-Stein, chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, said despite the fast timeline, nothing was compromised along the way.

“We have prioritized its integrity, consumer protection and responsible play. We have also prioritized diversity, fairness and inclusion, and community engagement throughout our evaluation,” said Judd. Mr Stein said.

There were also casino patrons who came to check out the MGM Springfield sportsbook. MGM Springfield has a 45-foot video wall, dozens of leather seats, and a nearby bar for those who want to catch a game of gambling.

Howard Rosenblatt of Albany, New York, came with his sister. He said he doesn’t like betting on his phone like he can in New York, and that betting on sports is “more fun in person.”

“Well, you can be in the betting building. We’re a bit of casino gamblers, so we understand that too.

In addition to MGM Springfield, Massachusetts now accepts direct betting at Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor in the southeastern part of the state.

Mobile device and online betting will begin in early March, just prior to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Gaming Commission Chairman Judstein said the timeframe remains appropriate as work continues to bring nearly a dozen gaming providers up and running.

When that happens, most action around sporting events can be expected to take place over the phone or computer. But MGM Springfield officials said some patrons agreed with Rosenblatt, giving Rosenblatt a head start on in-person betting and previously hosting high-profile events like the Super Bowl. I hope to judge that “face-to-face is more fun”. ”

As for Sarno, he said that if the Eagles win the Super Bowl, he will donate the prize money to charity.


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