The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has issued fines totalling $50,000 across its three commercial casino properties that have started to offer sports betting.

The fines are split as follows:

  • $20,000 to MGM Springfield
  • $20,000 to Plainridge Park
  • $10,000 to Encore Boston Harbor

All three fines related to separate events in which the individual entity took wagers on unauthorized events per Massachusetts sports betting regulation and the wagering catalog.

What happened at MGM Springfield?

MGM’s fine is a result of the casino’s sportsbook offering wagering on two unauthorized events involving a Massachusetts collegiate team not involved in a collegiate tournament, which is prohibited under gambling legislation.

The two matches in question were 3 February, 2023 – Harvard vs Yale basketball game, and 4 February 4, 2023, Harvard v Brown’s basketball game. Both games under MA legislation were unpermitted for wagering.

Wagering was offered for approximately 21 hours and 20 minutes on each event respectively, and a total of 28 wagers were placed.All tickets were placed at a kiosk, and of the four winning tickets – two were redeemed at the kiosk and two at the counter.

The error was attributed to BetMGM defining Harvard as Connecticut. As a result, its college games slipped through and were shown to bettors. MGM committed to a daily audit of its offerings before the sportsbook opens for the day. Given BetMGM self-reported and committed to further due diligence, no more than the $20,000 fine was levied.

Supplier trouble: Plainridge Park

Plainridge Park was also hit with a $20,000 fine for offering wagering on an unauthorized event. Similarly to MGM, the offering in breach by Plainridge Park was a game involving a Massachusetts collegiate team not involved in a collegiate tournament.

Plainridge Park accepted a total of 33 wagers across 27 tickets on February 2nd, for a match featuring Merrimack College and Long Island University men’s. The casino informed the MGC that wagering was offered on the unauthorized fixture for approximately seven hours.

The breach was noticed when a casino employee noticed it on a patron’s slip when they came to cash. There were a number of slips cashed before the casino identified the issue and fixed it. Those who attempted to claim afterwards were refunded their stake, and the same applied for those who lost.

The blame was attributable to Kambi, the casino’s sportsbook vendor. The company has ensured that a full audit has been conducted and college teams are suitably categorized.

Can I get an Encore?

Last but not least, the Encore Boston Harbor was fined $10,000 due to the sportsbook also offering wagering on an unauthorized college event. Encore Boston Harbor only took one wager on the game on 2nd February 2023.

Boston College vs Notre Dame women’s basketball game during the regulation season saw Encore boston Harbor take one money line bet in a five-team parlay. The ineligible bet was voided before the settlement of the field.

As the punter was not registered when betting,contact could not be made to make the bettor to let them know it would be voided. This was made clear upon return to the venue to settle the ticket. The error was attributed to Encore Boston Harbor’s system having a team entered twice, with only one of them being recognized in the system as an MA college team.

How did MA do in June 2023?

The three retail venues for MA took a total of $8.5 million in wagers, at a miserable hold of 2.05% giving taxable gaming revenue of $154k.

Online sports wagering fared considerably better, with revenue hold of 9.94%, and handle of $332 million – although it was significantly lower than May month-over-month as the US sports slump continued.

Table and slot GGR across the three casinos increased once more above $100 million. With online gaming in Massachusetts not currently in the pipeline, sports betting will trends upwards as the season edges closer, while landbased will likely remain fairly constant on the table and slots level.