Massachusetts Grants Short-Term Waivers For ID Verification Rules

September 8, 2023
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission granted another set of temporary waivers from its regulations on Thursday, this time dealing with age and identity verification requirements.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission granted another set of temporary waivers from its regulations on Thursday (September 7), this time dealing with age and identity verification requirements.

Four operators — BetMGM, WynnBET, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, and Betr — all sought an extended waiver from a regulation that requires mobile sports-betting operators to utilize identity authentication questions or an alternate authentication method approved by the commission.

In June, the commission granted a blanket waiver for all operators in the state through September 1 to comply with the regulation, but the four companies sought extensions ranging from two weeks to three months due to various issues.

The lengthiest extension went to Betr, which received an extension through December 6 to meet the requirements after proposing an alternative method that includes phone number verification and a backup system that includes submitting photo identification and a self-taken photo to compare.

“This method has proved to be more successful and accurate as potential bad actors can potentially discover answers to identity-related questions, but they cannot use another individual’s phone number as an identifier unless they are in physical possession of that individual’s phone to receive the unique code,” Betr wrote in its waiver request.

The company requested 90 days to implement the methods.

Other companies requested shorter waivers ahead of the existing September 1 deadline.

BetMGM and Fanatics applied for and received waivers through September 15 after experiencing technical issues with their initial attempts to launch the system and sought further time to implement and test the methods.

“They were concerned about it crashing their systems in all their jurisdictions when they started to implement it, and that was why the emergency request came in,” said Bruce Band, director of the sports wagering division for the commission, of the Fanatics waiver request.

WynnBET received an extension through September 30 after initially telling the commission during the summer that it expected the functionality to be ready in late September.

In August, the commission also issued waivers for its controversial new data privacy rules, which require players to opt-in to allow sportsbook operators to use personally identifiable information for purposes other than what is necessary to operate sports betting.

In that case, all of the state’s operators applied for and received waivers through November 17, although several said that they would seek further waivers from that point and that, in some cases, it would take more than a year to meet the commission’s standards.

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