FanDuel has pulled two ads in Massachusetts and is taking down a third for potential violations of state sports betting advertising regulations.
That’s according to Heather Hall, chief enforcement counsel for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, during Thursday’s MGC meeting. FanDuel commercials that referenced “iGaming” and “free bets” have both been pulled. Another commercial that makes reference to credit cards and pre-paid cards is in the process of being pulled.
iGaming, or online casino gambling, is illegal in Massachusetts. State regulations bar the use of “free” in advertising for Massachusetts sportsbooks. And credit cards are not allowed for sports betting in the state because of responsible gambling concerns.
“We have been in communication with (FanDuel),” Hall said. “They have been very responsive to our inquiries.”
How the potential violations were reported
Incidentally, Commissioner Eileen O’Brien saw the ads on Hulu and network TV and reported them to the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau. As O’Brien notifed the IEB of the potential violations, these were not self-reported.
“I’m still concerned about the fact of them having happened,” O’Brien said. ” … A myriad of (potential) violations all happening at the launch.”
Now, the IEB will conduct an investigation into the potential non-compliance issues. It will then come back to the MGC at a future date with its findings and recommendations for disciplinary action.
O’Brien later said she wants a time slot in each public MGC meeting focused on sports betting advertising and any potential violations.
“We may want to expedite certain ones over others,” she said.
Commissioner Jordan Maynard stressed the importance of correcting any potential violations quickly so close to launch.
“Early on, we need to take a very active role in what happens,” Maynard said.
FanDuel set to launch Friday
FanDuel Massachusetts is one of six apps set to launch online sportsbook apps on Friday. The other five are DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET and Barstool Sportsbook.
In Q4 of 2022, FanDuel held 50% of the US sports betting market. It might face stiffer competition for the No. 1 spot in Massachusetts, as DraftKings is a Boston company.