Massachusetts fines casinos $50,000 for accepting collegiate wagers

Dollar fine
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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has issued $50,000 in fines to every retail sportsbook in the state after wagers were offered on unauthorised sporting events.

This saw financial penalties issued to each of Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield, after it was previously found that DraftKings accepted 860 wagers on prohibited tennis matches across a period of 12 days.

The first violation of state law, which brought a $10,000 fine, saw the former of these gaming establishments accept a sole sports bet on a Boston College versus Notre Dame women’s regular season basketball game on February 2, 2023.

Encore self notified the state regulator that wagering was open for approximately five hours, with one money line bet included in a five-team parlay, which was permitted due to a system error. This was due to the team being known by two names, only one of which was included on a blacklist.

“The wager was placed at a kiosk inside EBH, and because the patron did not utilise 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,” the MGC said.

WynnBet, Encore’s vendor, is now conducting audits twice per day to ensure Massachusetts college sports teams regular season games are not available, with collaboration with the state regulator ongoing to ensure blacklists are up to date.

Elsewhere, Plainridge Park Casino accepted 33 wagers across 27 tickets on a February 2, 2023, Merrimack College versus Long Island University men’s regular season basketball game

This event was available for a period of seven hours due to a backend data entry error where the location of Merrimack College was listed as being in Florida.

After receiving a $20,000 fine, Kambi has notified the MGC that it will to ensure that Massachusetts college sports teams regular season games have not been and are not available to be wagered on.

Finally, MGM Springfield was also fined $20,000 related to a Harvard and Yale men’s basketball game on February 3, 2023, and a Harvard versus Brown match-up one day later.

After each was available for a period of 21 hours and 20 hours, respectively, the venue notified its sports wagering vendor BetMGM that a review of all sports bets placed at the casino since the launch of sports wagering must be conducted,

“Wagering was allowed on the unauthorised events because BetMGM had previously incorrectly designated Harvard as being in Connecticut,” the MGC noted. 

“This error has been corrected and BetMGM confirms that the location of all Massachusetts collegiate teams is correctly designated.”