Collegiate Betting Leads to Fines for Massachusetts’ Sportsbooks

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has imposed fines totaling $50,000 to every land-based sportsbook in the state as a penalty for accepting of bets on unauthorized sports events.

Those penalized were Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield, each having previously been discovered allowing DraftKings to accept 860 wagers on forbidden tennis matches over 12 days.

Breach of State Law

The initial violation of the state law, which resulted in a $10,000 penalty, happened when a single sports bet was accepted at Encore on a women’s regular season basketball match between Boston College and Notre Dame on February 2, 2023.

Encore reported to the state regulator that wagering had been open for roughly five hours, with a single money line bet incorporated in a five-team parlay. This bet was allowed as a result of a system glitch. The confusion arose because the team was recognized by two names, but only one was included in the prohibited list.

Absence of Player Card at Heart of Problems

The wager was placed at a kiosk inside EBH, and because the patron did not utilize a player card when making the wager, EBH was unable to inform the patron of the ineligible wager until they returned to settle their ticket.

SpokespersonMassachusetts Gaming Board

To prevent such issues in the future, WynnBet, Encore’s vendor, has begun conducting two audits per day to ensure no regular season games involving Massachusetts college sports teams are open for wagers. In addition, they are working closely with MGC to keep prohibited lists up-to-date.

Plainridge and Merrimack College Also Fined

Meanwhile, Plainridge Park Casino was found to have accepted 33 bets across 27 tickets on a men’s regular season basketball game between Merrimack College and Long Island University, which took place on February 2, 2023.

Due to a data entry error in the backend, where Merrimack College was wrongly located in Florida, this event was open for betting for seven hours. Kambi, after being fined $20,000, guaranteed the MGC that it will ensure no regular season games involving Massachusetts college sports teams are available for betting.

Lastly, MGM Springfield was hit with a $20,000 fine linked to a Harvard and Yale men’s basketball game on February 3, 2023, and a Harvard versus Brown game the next day. After both games were open for betting for 21 hours and 20 hours respectively, MGM Springfield informed its sports betting vendor BetMGM to perform a comprehensive review of all sports wagers made at the casino since the initiation of sports betting.

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