All three Massachusetts casinos found to have taken illegal bets

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BetMGM at MGM Springfield has completed the trifecta of Massachusetts casinos to have taken illegal wagers within a week of sports betting being legalized in the state. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will have to decide punishment for the three operators, who all have been found guilty of minor infringements as the state encountered teething problems with its retail sports betting launch.

What’s of greater concern is MA has touted the 10th March for its Massachusetts mobile sports betting roll-out, in time for another key betting event, March Madness. With teething problems in three retail venues, regulators may reconsider which would undoubtedly be a huge blow for operators, bettors and state tax collectors alike.

What were the Massachusetts casino breaches?

Last week, the MGC had already revealed that Plainridge Park Casino, and Encore Boston Harbor had accepted illegal wagers. The wagers in question were as follows:

  • Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool): 33 wagers, $6,848 handle, winnings $4,270
  • Encore Boston Harbor Casino (Wynn): 1 wager, $70 handle, no winnings

Both breaches came after Kambi and GAN, the respective suppliers, failed to correctly vet the list of Massachusetts colleges in line with the states sports betting legislation. The BetMGM breach is also a self-reported breach that is not believed to be of significant value.

Plainridge Park took wagers on a Merrimack College men’s basketball game, with the market staying live for seven hours. Encore Boston Harbor only took $70 on a Boston College women’s basketball game as part of a parlay, but the moneyline market was available for five hours. MGM Springfield accepted an undisclosed amount of bets on two Harvard men’s basketball games, again falling foul of the regulator’s rules.

The MGC have, according to reports, taken a levelheaded approach to disciplinary action on the aforementioned breaches. Commissioner Nakisha Skinner commented: “We’ve had three of these now in a week and a half’s time. I don’t know what the volume is going to be, but certainly as we were reviewing operator applications we learned that these are relatively routine — and I’m not sure if we use the word routine — but they’re relatively routine matters.”

Fellow Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Jordan Maynard added: “The commission, this early on and as I said earlier in its infancy, needs to set the goalposts. I want to set the goalposts with my fellow commissioners early on, and then see how it’s working. And I know that’s going to create a little bit more work on the front end, both for the commissioners and for the IEB … but I think later on, it’s going to be be very beneficial to the entire organization.”