Massachusetts Fines Fanatics Sportsbook $10,000 for In-State Bet

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massachusetts gaming commissionThe Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) recently fined Fanatics Sportsbook $10,000 for accepting an illegal bet on an in-state college football game.

This incident, which took place in December 2023, highlights the unique and strict regulations governing sports betting in Massachusetts.

In this article, we will check the details of the event, the regulatory framework, and the implications for the sports betting industry.

The Mistake and Its Consequences

On December 5, 2023, a Fanatics Sportsbook customer placed a $50 futures bet on Boston College’s bowl game against Southern Methodist University (SMU).

According to Massachusetts law, sports betting on in-state college teams is prohibited unless they are participating in a national tournament.

Boston College’s game against SMU did not fall under this exception, making the bet illegal.

Fanatics Sportsbook quickly identified the mistake, canceled the bet, and refunded the customer the next day.

Despite this fast action, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission imposed a $10,000 fine on the sportsbook.

The commission emphasized the importance of following the established betting regulations.

 

Jordan Maynard, the interim chair of the MGC, stated, “The goal of the commission was to ensure that the rules were clear and followed. This was achieved in this case, and it was handled well.”

Strict Rules for In-State Betting

Massachusetts has stringent sports betting rules, especially concerning in-state college teams.

These rules are designed to maintain the integrity of collegiate sports and prevent potential conflicts of interest.

The MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) recommended the fine after conducting a thorough investigation.

They found that a Fanatics Betting and Gaming employee had mistakenly allowed the prohibited market to be open for nearly 20 hours, from 11:00 AM on December 5 to 5:50 AM on December 6.

This error was attributed to a single football trader’s oversight. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously, 4-0, to impose the fine.

 

massachusetts gaming commision finesPrevious Violations and Betting Fines in Massachusetts

Fanatics Sportsbook is not the only operator that faces penalties for such violations.

Earlier this year, Encore Boston Harbor received a $40,000 fine for allowing in-person bets on in-state schools.

Additionally, Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield were each fined $20,000 last year for similar infractions.

These incidents show the challenges sports betting operators face in Massachusetts.

Avoiding human error and ensuring all markets comply with state laws require robust internal controls.

Gambling Industry Changes

As the sports betting industry grows, compliance from both regulators and operators is crucial to avoid mistakes.

Fanatics has not decided if it will appeal. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Senate is considering raising the online sports betting tax rate from 20% to 51%.

If approved, Massachusetts would tie with New York for the highest tax rate in the country.

In April, Massachusetts reported $49.3 million in taxable online sports wagering revenue, generating $9.9 million in taxes. With a 51% rate, this could exceed $25.1 million.

Follow Online Gamblers to track Fanatics’ case and potential changes to Massachusetts’ taxation.

NCPG helpline problem gamblingResponsible Gambling Tips

  • Spend Wisely: Only use money you are prepared to lose for gambling.
  • Set Limits: Establish clear limits on both the amount of money and time you dedicate to gambling.
  • Avoid Chasing Losses: Never try to recover losses by gambling more.
  • Entertainment Only: Understand that gambling should be seen as entertainment, not a financial solution.
  • Recognize and Act: Be honest about the signs of problem gambling and seek help when needed.

Keep in mind that gambling is meant for individuals over the age of 21. However, at Online Gamblers, we recommend that players wait until they are over 25 to begin gambling to ensure mature decision-making and financial stability.

If gambling stops being fun, or if you’re facing challenges with your gambling habits, please contact the National Council on Problem Gambling. You can call their helpline at 1-800-522-4700 or visit their website at www.ncpgambling.org.

 

Fanatics Sportsbook was fined $10,000 for accepting a prohibited bet on an in-state college football game, violating Massachusetts sports betting regulations.

A customer placed a $50 futures bet on a Boston College football game against SMU, which is not allowed under Massachusetts law unless it’s a national tournament.

Fanatics Sportsbook quickly identified the error, canceled the bet, refunded the customer, and reported the incident to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Massachusetts prohibits betting on in-state college teams unless they are participating in a national tournament.

As of now, Fanatics Sportsbook has not announced whether it will appeal the fine imposed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The market was open for nearly 20 hours, from 11:00 AM on December 5 to 5:50 AM on December 6, 2023.

Yes, other operators like Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield have also been fined for similar violations involving in-state college bets.

Liga Tarasova has a history of quality assurance and leading teams in an outsourcing company. Currently, she is working remotely as an Editor in Chief for Onlinegamblers.com. She stands for fair and safe gambling for people in the USA. Not long ago, she lived in Malta, the global iGaming hub, and worked at an iGaming company offering cloud-based product and platform services to B2B partners. Liga’s passion is visual arts and interior design.

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