MA Regulators Discuss Compliance, Self-Exclusion At Sportsbooks

Written By Dan Holmes on March 1, 2023 - Last Updated on March 3, 2023
Massachusetts regulators discuss sports betting compliance, self-exclusion, from

Commissioners for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission worked to finalize regulatory language for mobile sports betting in the state on Tuesday. The public hearing touched on a number of subjects, as Massachusetts prepares for the launch of online sportsbooks on Mar. 10.

Chaired by Cathy Judd-Stein, the MGC discussed the messaging needed for voluntary exclusions from betting, and on other subjects such as the manner in which larger payments will be paid out from winning sports betting tickets.

The MGC continues to target Friday, March 10, as launch date, leading into the final weekend of NCAA basketball. The men’s NCAA March Madness tournament will start on Tuesday, March 14. Women’s March Madness begins March 15.

Compliance, self-exclusion among topics discussed

The MGC, a five-person commission charged with regulating gaming in Massachusetts, met for more than two-and-a-half hours Tuesday. This followed a public roundtable discussion on Monday on the topic of affiliate marketing regulation. 

On Wednesday, the MGC is expected to vote on that issue — and many of the other MA sports betting issues discussed Tuesday — at its third meeting in three days.

Takeaways from Tuesday’s MGC meeting

  • Commissioners discussed the option for a sports bettor to select a period of time to be prohibited from sports wagering. This differs from a suspension of sports betting, which is typically long-term. With a temporary prohibition, the period could be selected by the individual, ranging from days to weeks.
  • The MGC finalized changes to the language in section 254 and 255, for a prohibition period, and left the period of time open-ended for the end user. It can be canceled or extended by the user only after the initial prohibition period has been completed.
  • Mention was made that a prohibition period can be considered a “cooling off” period for a sports bettor who doesn’t feel they have a gambling problem, but may for a short period wish to remove temptation.
  • Mina Makarious of Anderson & Kreiger LLP, a consultant on compliance, led discussion of changes to language around many issues with procedures for penalties or termination of employees of sports operators who bet using their employer’s sportsbook.
  • The MGC addressed the finalization of language in regards to persons prohibited  from wagering who work for sports betting operators.
  • Language was also finalized for the process for consumers to enter a complaint about an issue with a sports betting operator, and how feedback would be handled to the MGC for such problems that arise.
  • Commissioner Jordan Maynard led discussion on the issue of raising the threshold of payouts allowed on-site for sports bets. Current language limits redemption on-site at a retail sportsbook to $10,000, and there are also requirements for which employee can pay out such a wager.
  • Some sportsbooks in casinos use kiosks to satisfy payout for winning tickets. But in Massachusetts, no payout can be made over $5,000 at a kiosk. Such payments must be made at the betting window.
  • One of the reasons for the need for contingencies on payouts of $5,000 or $10,000 is the requirement that tax documents must be completed for such an amount.

READ MORE: Betway Approved In Massachusetts, Will Launch In January 2024

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a Staff Writer for PlayMA with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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