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Massachusetts Sports Betting Regulators Hand Out Noncompliance Penalties

Written by: Michael Savio
Published July 28, 2023
6 min read
Massachusetts Sports Betting Penalties

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has begun handing down noncompliance penalties for several operators this summer. So far, the sports betting regulator has assessed fines to Barstool ($20,000), BetMGM ($20,000), and WynnBet ($10,000). In February, all three operators accepted bets at the MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, and Plainridge Park Casino for college basketball non-tournament games involving in-state teams. That goes against one of the Bay State’s sports betting laws, but all three were able to escape significant penalties.

One reason these three operators only received (relatively) small fines is that they self-reported the violations to the MGC. Barstool and BetMGM both caught their error after the games concluded and immediately reported it to the state’s regulatory body. They both explained the bets were made available due to a software glitch, which they corrected. There were a total of 61 wagers placed on the games in question between the two sportsbooks.

WynnBet had the same issue but was able to catch it before the games began. They voided the bets and alerted the MGC, resulting in a smaller fine than the other two.

The MGC announced the penalties but also expressed their appreciation for all three operators self-reporting these violations. The regulator hopes this example will encourage other operators to self-report any other noncompliance issues.

DraftKings Noncompliance Pending Ruling From MGC

DraftKings saw a far more significant violation than the other three operators. The sportsbook giant offered betting options for a UTR Pro Tennis Tour event, which is prohibited in Massachusetts. It was a significant mistake, as 864 wagers were placed on the tournament for a total of $7,867. DraftKings caught their mistake after the bets were settled. They also self-reported to the MGC and refunded losses while recouping winnings that were paid out. 

In their report, DraftKings claimed that internal miscommunication led to these bet offerings being copied from another state’s sportsbook. We do not know much more than that, as they have requested their hearing with the MGC be confidential.

“Some of it is competitive in nature and also potentially enables customers to more easily exploit us if talked about in the public forum,” said DraftKings senior director Jack List. “So that was the reason for requesting the closed session and the general summary already provided.”

The MGC is expected to make a decision on penalties for DraftKings within the next week.

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

358 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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