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Ok, now it sounds like a decline.
With yesterday’s rain behind usOn a sunny weekend – if it’s clear seasonally – we have the weather ahead and Boston isn’t letting it go to waste. The city celebrates the last weekend of September (yes, I know, already!) with two open street events.
First, the city’s third day of open streets will close more than two miles of Dorchester Avenue on Saturday to cars for a group of pedestrian events and shopping. Then we have the last Open Newbury Street of the year on Sunday.
Also, don’t miss all the festivities happening around Massachusetts this weekend, as our arts and culture team highlights here.
Now, to the news: We still don’t know exactly when sports betting will start in Massachusetts, but we do know that it will be a wait (months at least). And there may be an even longer wait for the most popular form: online and app-based sports betting. Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Thursday they are considering a gradual rollout of the industry by allowing in-person sportsbooks to open in places like casinos before mobile betting goes live.
The commissioners said the two-stage approach could at least allow for an earlier start for in-person sports betting than if they launched the entire industry at once. The only real venues initially eligible to host sports betting are the state’s three casinos – Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, MGM in Springfield and the Plainridge Park Casino – plus simultaneous broadcast centers in Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs. In fact, two of the casinos (Encore and MGM) have built sports bars on their properties that they plan to quickly turn into sportsbooks.
At a meeting with several dozen companies in Massachusetts hoping to offer online betting, almost no one objected to the idea of a phased rollout. Nearly all company representatives said they would stick with the approach unless in-person sportsbooks are allowed to launch “connected” mobile betting platforms before the rest of the industry. Even DraftKings, the only company to oppose the first launch of in-person sportsbooks, said the higher priority is to at least ensure that all mobile platforms have the same start date.
PSA: Closing another MBTA line it starts tomorrow. Shuttle buses will replace the Green Line’s D branch (Kenmore to Riverside) this weekend through Sunday, October 9. And then they’ll do it for nine more days on October 8-16 – and then again. October 22-30.
Like the Orange Line shutdown and other previous diversions, T officials say the shutdown will allow them to speed up their much-needed maintenance work. In this case, they will replace more than 6,000 feet of rail, upgrade station crossings, and install new collision avoidance equipment.
Free shuttles will stop at all D branch stations except Beaconsfield due to narrow roads. T officials recommend that users of Beaconsfield stations either take the shuttle at the Reservoir or use the C branch stop, which is just a five-minute walk away.
Meanwhile in Worcester, bus drivers can keep their wallets in their pockets. Leaders of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority voted yesterday to extend their free program from the end of this year until next June.
WRTA, along with the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority and Franklin Regional Transit Authority, is one of three transit agencies in the state to offer free system-wide bus service.
Boston Celtics The suspension of head coach Ime Udoka became official last night after he was reported to have been in an inappropriate relationship with a team of staff throughout the 2022-23 season. The Celtics also did not guarantee Udoka’s return and said “a decision regarding his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date”.
Meanwhile, Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla, 34, will take over as interim head coach. Udoka, on the other hand, issued a statement apologizing and saying that he accepted the suspension.
PS— Massachusetts House put forward a new tax proposed by the City of Boston this week. Do you know what it will affect? Then take our Boston News Quiz and test your knowledge of the local stories we’re covering this week.