Concerns of confidentiality, risk management

Major sportsbook operators snub Massachusetts regulator’s roundtable on bettor limitation practices

Reading time 1:04 min

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission convened a public roundtable on Tuesday to address the contentious issue of bettor limitation practices within the bookmaking industry.

Despite invitations extended to ten sportsbook operators in Massachusetts, all declined participation, citing concerns regarding the confidentiality of proprietary systems and risk management strategies. They sought private sessions, which the regulator declined.

The impetus for the roundtable stemmed from consumer complaints regarding the reduction of wagering amounts by the state's sportsbooks, as highlighted by MGC interim chair Jordan Maynard. The event featured insights from gambling industry consultants, a responsible gambling advocate, and a professional bettor. Although no new policies were implemented, the committee continued deliberating on the matter.

In a written response to the MGC, Penn Entertainment, operator of ESPN BET, affirmed its prerogative to adjust betting and payout limits. Samantha Haggerty, Deputy Chief Compliance Officer for Penn National, noted that such limitations might be imposed for reasons including the exploitation of the sportsbook or misuse of promotional incentives.

Alongside Penn Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fanatics, Caesars Sportsbook, Encore Boston Harbor, and BetMGM were among the sportsbooks that declined participation, providing written confirmation to the MGC. A spokesperson for DraftKings emphasized that meaningful discussions on wagering limits would necessitate divulging DraftKings' confidential risk management practices and other commercially sensitive business information.

The only operator representative present was Justin Black of Bally’s Interactive, a platform licensed but not yet live in the state.

Massachusetts is the first state in which the issue of regulating betting limits has been discussed. The commission says it has received dozens of letters from players claiming their accounts were limited with no explanation.

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