Massachusetts Sports-Betting Operators Agree To Discuss Player Wagering Limits

June 21, 2024
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission confirmed Thursday that each of the state’s licensed sportsbooks have now agreed to attend a public meeting to discuss the topic of limiting successful customers, about a month after just one attended an initial hearing on the topic.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) confirmed Thursday (June 20) that each of the state’s licensed sportsbooks have now agreed to attend a public meeting to discuss the topic of limiting successful customers, about a month after just one attended an initial hearing on the topic. 

Six of the seven licensed sports-betting operators rejected an invitation from the commission to participate in roundtable discussion on May 21, after initially signaling to the commission that they would attend.

The commission revealed the operators requested the roundtable discussion be held in executive session, which the four commissioners declined to do. Both FanDuel and DraftKings expressed concern that any meaningful discussion on limits would necessarily involve disclosure of confidential risk management practices and other sensitive information.

Bally's Interactive, which has yet to launch its sports-betting app in Massachusetts, was the only licensed operator to attend last month’s roundtable discussion.

Jordan Maynard, the MGC’s interim chair, said every sports-betting operator in Massachusetts has since confirmed that they will attend a public roundtable discussing player limits. Commissioners have been seeking information about the practice of limiting certain players and if those limitations are ever removed.

“I believe that all the commissioners should be involved in this discussion, and we have to do it in a public manner,” said Maynard. “Every operator has said they are happy to educate us on limitations.”

No date has been set for the second public meeting.

During last month’s roundtable, commissioner Nakisha Skinner admitted the discussion “was not as meaningful as I hoped it would be.”

“There’s a lot of information we just don’t have, so on the one hand, I feel like this was not a good use of our time today, given that we didn’t have our primary stakeholders part of the discussion, but I hope we can work to change that going forward, because we need to move this needle in whichever way is appropriate according to this body.”

Commissioner Bradford Hill called the lack of attendance “very disappointing.”

On Thursday, Skinner said she was not opposed to having another roundtable but wanted to know what the substance of that conversation was going to look like.

“The question I have is, what’s changed? Why is the second time around here better than the first?” Skinner said. “I’m not convinced that with this second roundtable we are going to get the information [or] operators are going to be forthcoming with the answers to some of the questions we’ve asked.”

Skinner made it clear to her colleagues that another roundtable discussion “can’t be showing up for the sake of a re-do to correct a slight to the commission just for the sake of making things right.”

Hill said he was still “very upset that no one showed up” last month but stressed that regulators need to start the conversation among themselves about what they want to ask operators during the public meeting.

“We had a roundtable. They were invited and said they were going to come and didn’t,” said commissioner Eileen O’Brien. “We have yet to sit down and talk about that information we got in that meeting.”

O’Brien said she also asked for additional information on wager limits that she has not yet received. She also made it clear that it may be past the time for an open-ended public roundtable and it might be necessary to include the conversation as an item on a future agenda.

“I would like to get that information [and] figure out how we frame the conversation,” she added. 

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