Betr, WynnBET Massachusetts Exit Delayed by Regulator
Sports betting operators WynnBET and Betr won’t be leaving the Massachusetts sports betting market anytime soon, regulators said this week.
At the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting this Thursday, officials were supposed to study both platforms’ recently announced exit plans. However, Betr’s process took so long that WynnBET’s representatives were unable to take the floor in time.
In the end, both operators have seen their exit plans delayed from the mid-February dates they wanted. The process could possibly last as long as 90 days, as granted by the commission’s rules.
The shutdown requests are the first regulators have had to deal with since the market launched last January. Regulators probed representatives from Jake Paul-backed sportsbook and daily fantasy sports operator Betr over remaining customer funds, incoming deposits, outstanding futures bets, and other issues.
Further Meetings Needed
After an hour of debate, discussions were getting no further on key issues, so both operators and the MGC agreed to halt proceedings for the day.
Betr and WynnBET will come back when they can satisfactorily answer regulatory questions. Especially of concern was the ability to contact all customers with outstanding balances in the short time frames the ‘books wanted.
Both operators were seeking wavers of cessation on the 90-day closure notice period, which they haven’t been given for now.
Betr had previously hoped to leave the Massachusetts market by February 16, which is now not going to happen.
Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, wanted to close its WynnBET online operation down by February 23. It plans to remain in the state market via its Massachusetts retail sports betting location at its own Encore Boston Harbor casino venue.
Once WynnBET and Betr do leave, Massachusetts bettors will be left with six online sportsbooks.
Bally Bet has a license to operate in the state, which it paid to renew in 2023. But it has yet to launch its services and says it is not a priority.
The unerring dominance of leading U.S. sportsbooks DraftKings and FanDuel is even more pronounced in Massachusetts, the home state of Boston-based FanDuel.
The two leading ‘books accounted for 80% of the handle in most months of 2023. Compare that to the market share of WynnBET and Betr, the two least-popular operators in the state, and you can see why they want to leave.
In December 2023, Betr accounted for just 0.076% of the record-breaking $658 million monthly handle in the state. WynnBET hardly did better over the year, averaging around 0.5% to 2% market share each month.
As well as the dominance of DraftKings, smaller ‘books have to deal with one of U.S. sports betting’s most active and restrictive regulators. Massachusetts is not afraid to hit operators with complex data privacy rules and advertising regulations that cost them money.
Next for Betr and WynnBET
We recently catalogued the woes of Betr as it departs from the second market it launched in. However, to be fair, it has recently also announced expansion plans, including for Maryland and Indiana sports betting. It also plans to debut its online casino later in 2024 in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, WynnBET is definitely not trying to expand. After relaunching its app in a dozen states in 2023, it swiftly closed down in eight of them.
It is currently only open in Michigan, Nevada, and New York for sports betting. It is also considering leaving New York, the nation’s largest market, where it has the unenviable distinction of being the only sportsbook to make back-to-back monthly operating losses.
Wynn will continue with online and retail sports betting in Nevada and Michigan, where it also has large casino resorts.