Commissioners noted frustration over absence

Sports betting operators pledge attendance at Massachusetts Gaming Commission betting limits discussion after initial absence

MGC Interim Chair Jordan Maynard.
Reading time 1:36 min

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has announced that sports betting operators are now willing to participate in a public discussion on betting limits, following their previous absence from an MGC roundtable last month.

MGC Interim Chair Jordan Maynard confirmed that BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics Sportsbook, and FanDuel have agreed to engage in the upcoming discussions.

Despite invitations extended to ten sportsbook operators in Massachusetts, all declined participation in the previous roundtable, 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.

Bally’s was the sole licensed operator present at the initial roundtable.

Commissioners have questioned the fairness of betting limits
and suggested potential amendments to state regulations to address the practice. Changes to customer limitations could impact businesses like DraftKings and ESPN Bet, according to the “risk factor” sections of their annual reports.

Commissioners acknowledged the frustration over the operators’ absence at the initial roundtable. Commissioner Skinner expressed skepticism about operators providing meaningful insights into their limitations on bettors and stressed the need for valuable information in future discussions.

“I’m not opposed to having the remaining operators come to us, but what’s the substance of the meeting going to look like? I appreciate the outreach our division has made to operators, and the operators to us, but what has changed? What changed? Why is the second time around here better than the first? I’m not convinced that with this addition of a second roundtable that we’ll get the information we asked for or that operators will be forthcoming with their answers of the questions we ask,” she said.

Commissioner Eileen O’Brien suggested that the topic might be more suitable as an agenda item for a regular MGC meeting rather than a roundtable. The commissioners plan to meet beforehand to outline the specific information needed from the sportsbook operators.

Marlene Warner, CEO of the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, expressed interest in attending the next discussion. Maynard highlighted the goal of having an open and productive conversation to educate the commission on the reasons behind betting limits in Massachusetts.

The date for the future discussion is yet to be determined.

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