Three Retails Outlets Fined by MGC for College Wagers

Three Retails Outlets Fined by MGC for College Wagers
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) handed down fines to all three retail sportsbooks operating in the Commonwealth late Tuesday.

The MGC is the legislative body that oversees Massachusetts sportsbooks.

Two fines of $20,000 were levied against Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield and a $10,000 fine was handed down to Encore Boston Harbor for illegal collegiate wagers that were made at each location during the first weekend of live sports betting in the state.

All three retail outlets went live on Jan. 31.

All the violations were self-reported and all had to do with in-state collegiate wagering with Massachusetts betting apps or retail casinos, which is not allowed unless that team is involved in a college tournament.

The three operators were very cooperative with the MGC and instituted precautionary measures moving forward.

Here is a breakdown of each:

Encore Boston Harbor (EBH)

Encore Boston Harbor accepted one wager on a Feb. 2 Boston College vs. Notre Dame women’s regular season basketball game.

That same day, Encore notified the Commission’s Sports Wagering Division (SWD) that wagering was open on the game for approximately five hours with one moneyline bet included in a five-team parlay at a self-service kiosk on the property. The ineligible bet was voided before settlement of the ticket.

Wagering was allowed on Boston College women’s basketball due to a system error in which the team was known by two names to Encore’s wagering platform and only one of those names was included on a blacklist of teams upon which wagering is not allowed.

WynnBET Massachusetts now conducts twice daily audits to ensure the regular season games of Massachusetts college sports teams are not available for wagering. EBH will continue to coordinate with the MGC’s sports wagering division to ensure the list of Massachusetts collegiate teams is accurate.

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Must be 21+ to participate and present in MA. Gambling Problem? If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, please call 1-800-327-5050 or visit gamblinghelplinema.org for 24/7 support. LiveChat with a GameSense Advisor at GameSenseMA.com or call 1-800-GAM-1234

Plainridge Park Casino (PPC)

Plainridge Park Casino accepted 33 wagers across 27 tickets on a Feb. 2 Merrimack College vs. Long Island University men’s regular season basketball game.

This game was available due to a backend data entry error in which the location of Merrimack College was listed as being in Florida.

The next day, PPC notified the SWD that wagering was mistakenly offered on the game and was open for approximately seven hours. The game was recognized by a PPC employee when the customer sought to cash a winning ticket that included the game.

Customers had cashed winning tickets ahead of PPC identifying the issue and implementing a fix. Patrons who sought to cash a winning ticket following PPC identifying the issue and implementing a fix had their wagers refunded. Patrons who produced a losing ticket to PPC following the issue being identified also had their wagers refunded.

Kambi - PPC’s sports wagering vendor - addressed the issue and corrected Merrimack College’s location to Massachusetts. They also conducted an audit to ensure Massachusetts college sports teams regular season games are not available for wagers.

MGM Springfield (MGM)

Just like the two above, MGM offered wagers on a Feb. 3 Harvard vs. Yale men’s basketball game and a Feb. 4 Harvard vs. Brown men’s basketball game. Wagering was offered for approximately 21 and 20 hours, respectively, on each game and 28 tickets were sold - all at self-service kiosks - that included wagers on both games. Two winning tickets were redeemed at the sportsbook counter and two other winning tickets were redeemed at a kiosk.

MGM asked their vendor - BetMGM Massachusetts - to review all sports bets placed at the Springfield casino since the launch of sports wagering in the state. Following a review that was conducted between Feb. 9-10, MGM informed the SWD of the incidents.

Wagering was allowed on the games because BetMGM previously had incorrectly designated Harvard as being in Connecticut. This error since has been corrected and BetMGM has confirmed that the location of all Massachusetts collegiate teams is now in accordance. 

Following the violations, MGM Springfield and BetMGM implemented a daily audit of potential offerings before the sportsbook opens for the day. BetMGM also will conduct periodic quality control reviews, including verifying newly added information and conducting a quarterly audit to confirm continued accuracy.

BetMassachusetts.com will stay on top of meaningful decisions made by the MGC and continue to provide top Massachusetts sports betting promo codes.

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Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate & present in MA. In Partnership with MGM Springfield. Visit BetMGM.com for T&Cs. Play it smart from the start with GameSense. GameSenseMA.com. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-327-5050 or visit gamblinghelplinema.org. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.
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Author

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 (NJ.com) 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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