Massachusetts gaming regulators have hired consultants to aid with sports betting as the state works on launching the upcoming legal wagering industry by late January. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced it would be calling in reinforcements at its latest meeting, held Thursday, in which Executive Director Karen Wells unveiled the regulator has hired testing and certification firm Gaming Laboratories International to assist with standards.
Wells filled commissioners on Thursday on the variety of consulting arrangements the commission has made. The audit and consulting firm RSM US has been brought on board to help the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau with background reviews of sports wagering applications, reports State House News Service. Additionally, a group of former law enforcement officials has been contracted to help the IEB conduct general suitability reviews of applicants.
As for the GLI contract, the firm is set to assist with technical standards, testing standards and the drafting of internal control regulations. Wells did not provide cost estimates for the services at the meeting. The state’s sports betting law includes provisions that allow the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to recover some costs from licensees.
“That is going to be huge for our implementation timeline,” Wells said. She later added, “It’s a great win for the MGC to get them on board and have that set to go. I know the team is really excited to have this kind of level of help and this level of professionalism.” Commissioners noted that GLI has already assisted other regulatory bodies with sports betting implementation.
In comparison to last week’s meeting, in which commissioners shared a tentative timeline for launch, Thursday’s reunion was much calmer. While the regulator had expected to discuss comments from the public on the sports wagering license applications, the MGC has yet to receive such feedback, prompting Wells to say the body will “stand by” until they arrive.
Earlier this month, the commission agreed to work towards a targeted launch date of “late January” for the start of in-person sports betting and the state’s casinos and slots parlors, in time for Super Bowl. As for mobile betting, a target of “early March” has been set. However, commissioners have also admitted that the target dates may be “too aggressive” and could still be pushed back.