The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has issued a total of $50,000 in fines to the three Massachusetts casinos.
The fines stem from each of the retail sportsbook locations accepting wagers on unauthorized events.
More specifically, the Massachusetts casinos accepted bets on men’s and women’s college basketball games involving Massachusetts teams shortly after the state opened retail sports betting.
Betting on in-state collegiate teams is not allowed in Massachusetts, unless the teams are participating in a tournament involving four or more teams. The bets placed were on regular season games.
Details of the illegal wagers
Retail Massachusetts sports betting began on Jan. 31. All three casinos accepted the illegal wagers in early February, just days after the industry went live.
Encore Boston Harbor
On Feb. 2, Encore Boston Harbor accepted a wager on a women’s college basketball game involving Boston College. Betting for the regular season game vs. Notre Dame was available at Encore’s WynnBET Sportsbook MA for five hours.
The cause of the mix-up was due to a system error where the team was known by two names to Encore’s wagering platform. Only one of those names was on a blacklist of teams that cannot be wagered on.
Encore Boston Harbor was issued a $10,000 fine for the incident.
Plainridge Park Casino
A $20,000 fine was issued to Plainridge Park Casino for accepting a total of 33 wagers across 27 tickets on a Merrimack College regular season men’s basketball game vs. Long Island University on Feb. 2.
A backend data entry error accidentally cited the location of Merrimack College as being in Florida instead of Massachusetts. This made wagering on the event available for seven hours.
MGM Springfield was also fined $20,000 for offering betting odds on a Harvard vs. Yale men’s college basketball game on Feb. 3 at its BetMGM Sportsbook MA. In addition, the casino accepted bets the next day on Feb. 4 for a men’s basketball game between Harvard and Brown University.
BetMGM previously designated Harvard as incorrectly being located in Connecticut. Wagering was offered for approximately 21 hours and 20 hours on each event respectively. A total of 28 tickets were sold that included wagers on the two events.