Encore Boston Harbor Suspends NCAAW Betting After More Illegal Bets

Written By Dan Holmes on February 23, 2023
Encore Boston Harbor suspends women's college basketball betting after more unauthorized bets, from playma.com

Encore Boston Harbor has once again self-reported it mistakenly offered odds and accepted bets on college basketball games involving in-state schools in Massachusetts.

That news was announced during an open meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday.

Bruce Band, the state’s Sports Wagering Division Director, reported that for “several days” earlier this month, customers were allowed to place bets on a Boston College women’s basketball game at Encore Boston Harbor’s WynnBET Sportsbook. The incident is currently being reviewed by the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau of the MGC, and a recommendation on the next steps will be presented to the commission in coming weeks.

According to Band, a “glitch” in the GAN (GameAccount Network) technology that governs the betting catalog is switching betting on for in-state college games. As a result, Band says EBH is currently “not taking any bets on NCAA women’s basketball because it’s the only way they can stop (in-state games) from being offered.”

EBH is the only sportsbook in the state using the GAN system.

At an earlier February meeting of the MGC, it was revealed that EBH had accepted wagers on the Feb. 2 Boston College women’s basketball game against Notre Dame, though only one bet was placed. 

MGM Springfield allowed bets on Harvard college basketball games

Also during Thursday’s meeting, we learned more about the unauthorized college bets placed at MGM Springfield.

The BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Springfield offered odds for two Harvard men’s college basketball games (vs. Yale on Feb. 3, and vs. Brown on Feb. 4). Odds for the Yale game were up for just over 21 hours. Odds for the Brown game were up for just over 20 hours.

BetMGM Massachusetts accepted 28 total bets on both games, and all came at kiosks. A total of $1,150 was placed on Harvard vs. Yale, and $80 was placed on Harvard vs. Brown. The total winnings were $1,106.

MGM Springfield reported to the MGC that the error occurred because Harvard was mistakenly listed as a Connecticut school when it was originally added to the sports wagering blacklist. That error has since been corrected. MGM has also implemented a daily audit of offered bets to manually double-check for future errors like this.

The Barstool Sportsbook at Plainridge Park Casino has also previously self-reported that it accepted wagers on college sports involving in-state schools. Massachusetts law prohibits betting on college athletics involving in-state schools. The only exception is if they are competing in a tournament of at least four teams.

No disciplinary action has been determined for any of the alleged violations. At an MGC meeting last week, commissioners voted unanimously to request a hearing with the parties involved and to have further investigation by the IEB. Possible penalties could include a fine or suspension of an operator’s license. 

Photo by AP Photo/Michael Caterina
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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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