Regulators are monitoring the staggered rollout of sports betting

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Okay, now it’s like a fall.

With yesterday’s rain behind us, we have a weekend of sunny — if unseasonably clear — weather ahead of us, and Boston isn’t letting it go to waste. The city celebrates the last weekend of September (yes, I know, already!) with two open events.

First, the city’s third pop-up open street day will close more than two miles of Dorchester Avenue to cars on Saturday for a series of pedestrian and shopping events. Then we have the last Open Newbury Street of the year on Sunday.

Plus, don’t miss all the festivals happening in Massachusetts this weekend, as highlighted here by our arts and culture team.

Now, on to the news: We still don’t know exactly when sports betting will begin in Massachusetts, but we do know we’ll be waiting (at least months). And it could be an even longer wait for the most popular format: online sports betting and apps. Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Thursday they are considering a staggered industry rollout, allowing in-person sports books to open in places like casinos before mobile betting begins.

Commissioners said the two-stage approach could at least allow for an earlier start for personal sports betting than if they started the entire industry at once. The only places initially eligible to host sports betting are the state’s three casinos — Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, MGM in Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino — as well as the simulcast centers at Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs. In fact, two of the casinos (Encore and MGM) have already built sports bars on their properties that they intend to quickly convert to sports books.

During a meeting with several dozen companies hoping to offer online betting in Massachusetts, almost no one expressed opposition to the idea of ​​a staggered rollout. Almost all company representatives said they would be fine with the approach as long as personal sportsbooks are not allowed to launch “connected” mobile betting platforms before the rest of the industry. Even DraftKings, the only company that spoke out against leaving in-person sportsbooks first, said the biggest priority was at least making sure all mobile platforms have the same launch date.

PSA: Another MBTA line closure starts tomorrow Buses will replace the Green Line’s D branch (from Kenmore to Riverside) this weekend through next Sunday, October 9. And then they’ll do it for nine more days on Oct. 8-16 — and then again Oct. 22-30.

Like the Orange Line closure and other past detours, T officials say the shutdown will allow them to speed up much-needed maintenance. In this case, they will replace over 6,000 feet of track, upgrade station crossings and install new collision prevention equipment.

Free buses will stop at all D branch stations except Beaconsfield due to narrow roads. T officials suggest users of Beaconsfield stations either board the bus at Reservoir or use the C branch stop which is just a five-minute walk away.

Meanwhile in the Worcester area, bus passengers can continue to keep their wallet in their pockets. Worcester Regional Transit Authority leaders voted yesterday to extend their fare-free program from the end of this year until next June.

The WRTA is one of three transit agencies in the state with free system-wide bus service, along with the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority and the Franklin Regional Transit Authority.

The Boston Celtics made it official last night by suspending manager Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a member of team staff. The Celtics also did not guarantee Udoka would return, saying “a decision on his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.”

In the meantime, 34-year-old Celtics assistant coach Joe Majula will take over as interim coach. For his part, Udoka issued a statement apologizing and saying he accepts the suspension.

POSTSCRIPT- The Massachusetts House advanced 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 covered this week.

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