During its meeting Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) decided it needs more time before making a decision on Fanatics’ mobile sports betting application in the state. The MGC plans to meet Wednesday morning to continue discussions.
Thursday’s decision stemmed partly from miscommunication related to the ending time of the meeting. At one point, Commissioner Nakisha Skinner clashed with MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein.
Skinner wanted to clarify her absence later this afternoon, believing the meeting would only last until 2 p.m., but the commission needed more time to make a decision on Fanatics. The moment became tense, as Judd-Stein interrupted Skinner’s defense of her absence.
“Commissioner Skinner, you are out of order,” Judd-Stein said loudly.
Judd-Stein was uninterested in an additional explanation, and the duo’s small spat (which is not their first related to scheduling) took a few minutes away from reviewing Fanatics’ application. Eventually the commission got itself together and sorted out a schedule. The group will discuss Fanatics’ sports betting platform again on Wednesday, with more time allotted Thursday if needed.
Heavy executive session
At Thursday’s MGC meeting, there was some concern about Fanatics’ business model and its connection to responsible gambling, as the company — which, to date, has specialized in sporting apparel — plans to use its commerce branch to help boost its sports betting venture. Commissioner Eileen O’Brien wanted to make sure the company’s marketing practices followed responsible gambling protocol.
“I’m curious to know some more specifics in terms of what the employee responsible gaming training is really going to look like,” O’Brien said.
Additionally, Fanatics paid $322,050 to settle a race and discrimination retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2019. Commissioners shared concern about that previous violation and wanted more detail on what occurred. It’s likely that some of that will be addressed more thoroughly next week. The company’s financial details and performance are also expected to be discussed during the upcoming executive session.
There was also an additional executive session Thursday morning, as Fanatics continued demonstrating its mobile sports betting platform in closed session. That demonstration wasn’t available to the public, although there is widespread interest in what Fanatics’ sports betting platform will look like once it goes live in the near future in either Maryland, Massachusetts, or Ohio.
Amelco source code
While the public didn’t have eyes on the sportsbook demonstration, bettors did learn about what the Fanatics sports betting platform might look like. Fanatics will use Amelco source code to power its wagering platform, it officially confirmed at Wednesday’s meeting. Amelco has powered sports betting platforms for BetSaracen (an Arkansas platform), FOX Bet, Fubo Gaming, and WynnBET, among others.
think what's probably being missed is the versatility, agnostic nature of a platform provider who isn't a one size fits all – it's not a Kambi where every book is the same & ultimately each operator decides the direction on the Dev, design & end product/solution.
— Mark Hill (@markhillsports) January 4, 2023
“This was important because it is a proven code base and operating platform in the U.S., as well as internationally,” Matt King, Fanatics’ CEO of betting and gaming, said Wednesday. “We feel very good that we were able to build our business on the back of world class and proven sports wagering technology.”
While the platform may look similar to the others mentioned, Fanatics has the ability to tailor the code to its specific needs.