A day after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced that Betr won’t go live on Friday’s universal launch day, the commission issued six operations certificates for Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBET. Those six operators have plans to go live at 10 a.m. Friday.
Betr on Wednesday became the fourth operator with a temporary license that will not launch, joining Bally Bet, Betway, and Fanatics in delaying their launches.
Representatives from Betr said that they were still refining their app for use in Massachusetts and are pointing to launching in the next month. The microbetting wagering platform co-founded by boxer Jake Paul debuted its platform in Ohio Jan. 1.
In a lengthy public meeting lasting beyond six hours, the commission heard from representatives from the state attorney general’s office, who offered up comments that would further strengthen advertising and responsible gaming guidelines and discussed how garnishing winnings from those who are past due on child support would work.
Massachusetts now offers THREE different ways to self-exclude from gambling.
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— Mass Council GH (@MassCouncilGH) March 9, 2023
FanDuel out of bounds?
The MGC staff also shared that FanDuel was running three advertisements that it feels could be in violation of advertising standards. One advertisement referenced iGaming, one referenced free bets, and a third referenced credit cards and prepaid cards, according to Heather Hall, chief enforcement counsel and assistant director for the MGC.
Hall said two of the ads had already been taken down and that FanDuel was moving to take down the credit and prepaid cards advertisement. The commission concurred that the violations are critical enough that it would like to discuss them at a future meeting for potential action.
Mobile sports betting becomes legal in Massachusetts tomorrow. @jbarnesnews spoke with patrons at Dino’s Sports Bar in Mashpee about the new law. https://t.co/FohgvMBwIP
— CAI (@WCAI_NPR) March 9, 2023
“There was responsiveness by FanDuel, but there was violation,” Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said. “For me, right out of the gate to have free bets, iGaming, there’s a lot of violations … and I want to see this before us to rule on.”
The MGC also approved house rules for digital operators before addressing new violations of its bet menu.
More violations at Encore Boston Harbor
The Investigations Enforcement Bureau informed the commissioners that Encore Boston Harbor had self-reported another set of bet menu violations at its WynnBET Sportsbook. The violations, which occurred Feb. 12 and 19, both involved wagering on Boston College women’s basketball games.
According to IEB attorney Zachary Mercer, the issue arose when Genius sports, a data provider, uploaded the games as “Boston College Eagles Women,” but GAN’s filter to block betting searches only for “Boston College.” GAN runs the WynnBET betting platform.
Since the names did not match up, the games slipped through GAN’s filter, and a total of seven bets for $213 were placed on them. Both games were uploaded about 30 minutes before their start, rather than a more usual 48 hours.
In terms of remediation, GAN is expanding its list of excluded events and terms, and Encore Boston Harbor/WynnBET Sportsbook will continue to do twice-daily manual checks. Commissioners are concerned at the repeated issues with GAN and decided to hold an adjudicatory hearing at a later date.
Previously, on Feb. 2, the WynnBET Sportsbook took moneyline wagers for a Boston College women’s basketball game after GAN failed to place a block on the game. Executives from Encore self-reported the violation, which was one of three among the state’s three retail casinos in the first week of betting.
The other two, at MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park, were caused when Massachusetts college teams were marked as being located in states outside of Massachusetts. The MGC has already scheduled adjudicatory hearings for the first Encore violation and the Plainridge Park violation for March 14.