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Two Mobile Sportsbooks Shuttering in Massachusetts

General View Wynn Casino at Macau
General view showing a worker standing atop a Wynn Resorts location. Mike Clarke/AFP

It has been reported that Wynn and Betr are both halting mobile operations in Massachusetts, and both exits will be a topic of conversation at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting this Thursday.

Wynn Winds Down

The WynnBet app is not long for the digital world as its parent company, Wynn Resorts, has already put the brakes on its mobile sports betting operations in seven US states, with Massachusetts being the next in line. Several months ago, the company stated there were “higher and better uses of capital deployment” than “the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting.”

But neither WynnBet nor Betr, the other company looking to leave the Bay State market, will be able to wind down as quickly as they had hoped, with Betr seeking to halt operations on February 16th while WynnBet had February 23rd circled as its last day. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided to table discussions on both end dates and instead is setting meetings with staff to discuss the withdrawal of both operators from its sports betting market.

Not the Expected Returns

In December, WynnBet reported a paltry $12.5 million handle, which was the lowest in the state, save for Betr, and accounted for only 2% of the market share. Boston-based bookmaker, DraftKings, has routinely dominated their home turf as evidenced by its nearly 50% market share in December while FanDuel garnered a 30% share in the same month.

The writing has been on the wall for quite a while as the company closed its digital footprint in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, but the app is still operating in New York and Michigan.

What’s Next for Wynn?

In the release announcing the exits from these markets, the company made it clear that it remains interested in the iGaming market but with so few states legalizing online casino gambling, it was not worth the investment to continue its unprofitable mobile sports betting operations.

Wynn Resorts Chief Financial Officer Julie Cameron-Doe said in a statement, “In light of the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting, we believe there are higher and better uses of capital deployment for Wynn Resorts shareholders.

“While we believe in the long-term prospects of iGaming, the dearth of iGaming legislation and the presence of numerous other investment opportunities available to us around the globe have led us to the decision to curtail our capital investment in WynnBET to focus primarily on those states where we maintain a physical presence,” she added.

We should also note that Wynn’s retail sportsbook will still be available at its Encore Harbor property in Everett, just 10 minutes north of Boston. Massachusetts will soon have just six online sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, ESPN BET, BetMGM, and Fanatics.

Bye Bye Betr

It has also been reported that Betr will not attempt to renew its temporary license in Massachusetts with other opportunities pulling them away from the Bay State. The company said it was “trading a 7 million population state for over 23 million in the net new states for collectively less economics than it would have required to renew in MA alone.”

Betr, co-founded by YouTube star turned boxer, Jake Paul, has been struggling mightily in Massachusetts, and its demise is no surprise to most sports betting industry pundits. The company has not ruled out a return to the Massachusetts market but that seems unlikely in the wake of their exit after competing for only nine months before throwing in the towel.

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