MGM Springfield Approved for Sports Betting License Despite Filing Late, Fine Pending
MGM Resorts, the “Largest Private Investment in Western Mass” Had no Comment
Caesars Sportsbook Also Granted Sports Betting License in Massachusetts
Things might be getting a bit testy in the world of Massachusetts legal sports betting as one state lawmaker is making some noise about fining MGM Springfield for applying late for the license to operate they just received, according to WWLP News reporter Kristina D’Amours.
That fine would amount to $250,000, a quarter of a million dollar slap on the wrist that state Rep. Angelo Puppolo believes should in fact be levied on the successful casino and hotel, and the WWLP report includes a quote from the lawmaker that said as much:
“This was a missed opportunity to hold MGM Springfield to the fire on community complaints of discrimination, false reporting, and failing to deliver jobs and economic development as promised.”
The Maryland Gaming Commission had established Nov. 22 as the final day applications could be submitted, and MGM Springfield was a few days late with some of the critical parts of their paperwork, tardy enough to be technically eligible for a steep late fee.
However, here’s why MGM Springfield will most likely not be paying that fine.
The MGM Springfield hotel and casino complex opened in 2018, and since then their business has been up and down due to the Covid 19 worldwide pandemic, so some initial promises made are late in being kept, though parent company MGM Resorts still has plans to keep them.
The company had no comment to make on Rep. Puppolo’s calls for financial retribution, but according to WWLP they simply referred to a previous statement they had released which explains in great detail their value to that community, saying in part:
“As the largest private investment in Western Massachusetts, we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide the city with more than $100 million in tax revenue to-date. And although we were closed for nearly four months in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and under significant operational restrictions for ten months, we were able to provide our team members with healthcare throughout and the benefits afforded through our Employee Assistance Fund.”
Tough to nickel and dime a company that can make that level of rebuttal, so don’t expect that $250K fine to be taken too seriously by anyone who can actually levy it, especially now that the actual 2023 launch of that market crawls closer.
Earlier this week, Caesars sportsbook became the third company to get a license to operate a mobile sportsbook tied to a retail location in Massachusetts after receiving unanimous approval from the state’s Gaming Commission.
The cost to Caesars will be a $1 million licensing fee, a small price to pay to partake in what could become a major sports betting market in New England, if not the entire U.S., especially given the number of popular pro and college teams that are tied into that area.
For years, gamblers there had to resort to unregulated means to place their action including offshore sportsbooks and illegal bookies, an invitation to disappointment now soon to be offset by the launch of the legal retail and mobile market there, that is if tempers can continue to hold.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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