The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) voted Thursday to allow Barstool Sportsbook to void more than 250 wagers made during last Sunday’s New York Giants-Arizona Cardinals NFL game after discovering an issue that kept certain player prop betting markets open after being resolved.
In doing that, Massachusetts sports betting regulators allowed the sportsbook operated by Penn Sports Interactive (PSI) to cancel those wagers made by 59 bettors in the commonwealth. Those individuals were set to receive a total of nearly $48,000.
Andrew Steffen, the MGC’s interim sports wagering operations manager, told commissioners that Penn staff became aware of the issue around 7 p.m. ET as the Giants-Cardinals game was winding down. There were a couple of explanations for the incident, primarily because Penn’s system could not compute half-sack totals.
“This issue occurred after a release or update to their sportsbook trading software,” he explained. “This update issue caused other player prop markets to remain open when they should have been closed.”
In addition, a spike in betting traffic Sunday afternoon as the Giants-Cardinals and other late games were about to start led to latency issues within the trading platform for Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts. That kept Penn staff from discovering markets for that game had not closed properly, and some people were still placing wagers on the sports betting app in Massachusetts. While other NFL games were occurring during the same time, the issue only affected the one game.
Penn Might Not Get Second Chance
The MGC found that Penn’s request to void the bets complied with state regulations and voted unanimously to approve it. However, the sportsbook still received some admonishment from state regulators.
“It seems that PSI knows what the risks are in that manual monitoring of this matter, and so, it’s at their discretion whether they want to offer these kinds of bets,” Commissioner Nakisha Skinner said. “But, I think, if we have another request of this kind before us, I don’t know that I’ll be sympathetic to the request. That’s just the way I look at it.”
Relationship Between Barstool and MGC
The MGC has been critical of Barstool in the past. In June, commissioners held a hearing regarding its “Can’t Lose Parlay” promotion that it had previously featured on its site. While commissioners were considering Barstool for licensure, some raised concerns about Barstool Sports, the media company PENN Entertainment bought as it secured rights to the Barstool Sportsbook name.
Last month, PSI divested itself of Barstool Sports and announced plans to rebrand its sports betting operations as ESPN BET. That rebranding effort includes paying ESPN $1.5 billion over 10 years and providing $500 million in stock options for the right to use the media company’s name. PENN expects the rebranding to take effect later this year.
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