MGC: All 3 Retail Sportsbooks Took Illegal Wagers

MGC: All 3 Retail Sportsbooks Took Illegal Wagers
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The newlywed period is over for three retail Massachusetts sportsbooks.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced during Tuesday's scheduled public hearing that all three retail sportsbooks had accepted illegal wagers on in-state men's and women's college basketball games.

State law prohibits collegiate sports betting of any kind on in-state collegiate teams, unless those teams are involved in a tournament scenario involving a minimum of four teams. An example would be the recently concluded Beanpot college hockey tournament.

Retail launched just 15 days ago with sports betting apps in Massachusetts set to begin Friday, March 10 at 10 a.m.

Specifics of the Infractions

Patrons 21 and over are allowed to legally wager in-person at the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, Plainridge Park Casino (PPC) in Plainville and MGM Springfield. 

Here is the breakdown by casino/sportsbook of the violations:

MGM Springfield (BetMGM): Bets were taken at the casino’s BetMGM Massachusetts Sportsbook on the Harvard at Yale and Harvard at Brown games (Feb. 3-4), with the violations self-reported, according to a report presented by Bruce Band, the state’s Sports Wagering Director. No other information was offered.

Encore Boston Harbor (WynnBET Massachusetts Sportsbook): One wager was accepted on a Boston College vs. Notre Dame women's basketball game Feb. 2. Wagering was allowed on the game from approximately 12:45-5:45 p.m. The wager was placed on the final result of the game as part of a 5-leg, $70 parlay. Once EBH became aware of the bet, the Boston College part of the parlay was voided. The lapse was caused by a vendor (GAN) that failed to lock out in-state women's basketball, according to EBH.

Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool Sports): Wagering on a Merrimack College vs.  Long Island University (Feb. 2) men’s basketball game was allowed for approximately seven hours. Thirty-three bets on 27 tickets were made, totaling $6,848, the casino reported. PPC said $4,720 was won by bettors.

PPC reported to the MGC that its gaming vendor, Kambi, had mistakenly assigned Merrimack College (located in North Andover) as a Florida school. The error was flagged and reported by a PPC employee.

Both Encore and PCC previously self-reported accepting illegal wagers on in-state college teams.

“The Commissioners had a consensus to move forward with an adjudicatory hearing on the EBH and PPC issues. More information on that will be released when we have a clear scheduling picture,” an MGC spokesperson said to

“The new information about MGM taking wagers on Harvard basketball that was noted will follow the same process the other two did where the IEB (Investigations and Enforcement Bureau) will present a fuller report and then a decision on next steps will follow.”

Looking Ahead to Mobile Launch

Mobile sports betting in the state will fall two days ahead of Selection Sunday (March 12) and four days before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Eighteen men's college basketball conference tournaments will be taking place on launch weekend: American Athletic, ACC, America East, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, Pac-12, SEC, SWAC, WAC.

The MGC has set Thursday, Feb. 23 on its agenda planning schedule as the day for “finalization” of licensure for all approved mobile operators.

Follow for coverage and stories of interest on sports wagering in the state, as well as for Massachusetts sportsbook promo codes.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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