DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts has notified the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it made an unapproved tennis league available to bettors in March.
A total of more than $7,000 in bets was accepted by DraftKings on the three UTR Pro Series events, which are not included in the state’s sports wagering catalog. The UTR holds events internationally featuring ranked players from across the globe, some as young as 14 years of age.
Online sports betting in Massachusetts is live, and this is DraftKings’ first non-compliance offense.
DraftKings allows 864 illegal bets
DraftKings admits to allowing users to bet on three UTR Pro Series tennis events from March 10-22, 2023. In all, 864 bets were accepted by DraftKings Massachusetts on the UTR Pro Series events, totaling $7,867.
- Barcelona, Spain UTR Pro Series event: 68 bets totaling $965.47
- Newport Beach, California: 22 bets totaling $589.41
- Tigray, Argentina: 774 bets totaling $6,312.12
According to a report from the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau of the MGC, DraftKings blames an internal miscommunication between trading and compliance teams. This errors led to the sportsbook mistakenly allowing the tennis events to be offered to bettors.
All wagers taken on the unapproved events have been voided, and DraftKings reports that all stakes were returned, on both winning and losing wagers.
In a hearing on Monday, the MGC decided to hold an adjudicatory hearing on the issue in the future. Commission members heard testimony from the IEB on the matter, much of it coming directly from DraftKings, which self-reported the incident.
Not the first time illegal bets were taken in MA
Earlier this year, Barstool Massachusetts was fined an undisclosed amount for an alleged violation for using the phrase “Can’t Lose Parlay” in its Massachusetts advertising. Barstool requested a cancellation of an adjudicatory hearing on that matter.
In addition, the MGC has yet to issue decisions on previous alleged non-compliance issues in Massachusetts involving Encore Boston Harbor casino and WynnBET, as well as an issue from illegal bets offered by Plainridge Park Casino. Both incidents involved the offering of bets on in-state college teams, which are not allowed in most cases.
The MGC held adjudicatory hearings on the alleged non-compliance violations by EBH and Plainridge, but has yet to formally make a finding. In that light, commissioners on Monday expressed a desire to wait to make a determination on potential violations by DraftKings until a hearing was also held.
MGM Springfield fined $45,000
Also during the Monday hearing, it was revealed that MGM Springfield has agreed to pay a $45,000 fine. The fine stems from 22 incidents at the casino, 21 involving underage persons on the gaming floor.
Massachusetts gaming law calls for an Assessment of Civil Administrative Penalty, which can be assessed by the MGC, and be agreed upon by both the violator and the regulatory body.
This is the third time MGM Springfield has been fined for allowing underage persons on the gaming floor. The previous incidents were in 2019 and 2021.
Previously, MGM placed barriers including guardrails and walls, making it more difficult for underage individuals to access the gaming floor. Additional security and signage were also put in place.