The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 5-0 to approve regulations on how sports betting operators will address betting errors and voided bets when the market launches on Wednesday.
Online sportsbooks in Massachusetts will be open to accept bets starting at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Who do these regulations apply to?
A flurry of meetings and hearings in the past month have led the Commonwealth to the precipice of becoming the latest jurisdiction to launch a sports betting market. The MGC will convene again on Thursday, when it will formally grant operations certificates to approved sportsbooks.
Six of those sportsbooks will launch Friday:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
Retail sportsbooks debuted in the commonwealth in Jan. 31, but Massachusetts sports betting is expected to surge when consumers can download, register and wager with mobile apps.
Rules governing bets and betting errors
Led by chair Cathy Judd-Stein, the MGC met for more than three hours on Wednesday. It addressed what are known as “house rules” for sports betting operators. Specifically, the commission heard from representatives from most of the sportsbooks. Regulators and state officials chimed in, as well.
Commissioners focused on the policy and language necessary to determine how sportsbooks will handle voided bets. For example, if a bettor wagers on a prop involving LeBron James, and he does not play in that game, the sportsbook will void that bet, effectively canceling it for the consumer.
The MGC also debated restrictions on specific “negative outcome” prop bets. Such as wagering on whether an athlete will commit X number of fouls. Those types of prop bets are not permitted, and the MGC expressed concerns over allowing any bets that are contingent on things not tied to the actual play of the athletic contest.
Commissioners unanimously approved language that defined “betting errors” and unauthorized bets such as when a sportsbook mistakenly allows customers to place a wager on a college sporting event involving a Massachusetts school. Bettors can only wager on Massachusetts schools if they are participating in a tournament of at least four schools.
That includes, obviously, March Madness, so NCAA Tournament betting is allowed in MA.