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Massachusetts to launch in-person sports betting on Jan. 31

Encore Boston Harbor is one of three casinos that will launch in-person sports betting in Massachusetts in January.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission intends to launch retail sports betting in the state on Jan. 31, 2023.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, which was spent hammering out regulations impacting the historic introduction of the next chapter in gambling in the state, Massachusetts Gaming chair Cathy Judd-Stein and executive director Karen Wells outlined the steps necessary to meet the commission’s goal of beginning sports betting in the state’s three casinos in “late January.”

Testing of the software used at point-of-sale kiosks and tellers will begin on Jan. 16. If the software passes muster, it will be paired with the hardware, then the retail setup will have to be verified. Next, the MGC will issue a certificate of operations for each of the casinos allowed to offer in-person betting — Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield — on Jan. 27.


Monday, Jan. 30 will be a “soft” launch, with a commissioner on site at the casinos to make sure all systems are functioning before the launch on Jan. 31.

Earlier this week, the MGC approved its final Category 1 retail sports betting license, a temporary license for Plainridge Park Casino.

The commission has one more self-imposed deadline to meet: It hopes to launch online Category 3 sports betting in March, before the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

The end of January retail launch allows the three casinos to be open for sports betting business two days after the NFL conference championships and about two weeks before the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.

Read more about sports betting in Massachusetts

Plainridge Park Casino granted temporary sports betting license while commission investigates its relationship with Barstool

Gaming commission approves sports betting license for MGM Springfield casino

WynnBet wins state approval for first online sports betting license

Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com.