Sports Betting

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission could start to limit how much players can bet

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Massachusetts Gaming Commission pic

At a meeting on Wednesday, the Massachusets Gaming Commission (MGC) expressed their frustration over a no-show earlier in the year. At a previous roundtable, virtually none of Massachusetts’ sports gambling operators attended the meeting. Recently, the MGC said that the state’s betting operators have agreed to attend another meeting in the future. However, the MGC does need time to sort things out and decide the best way to attack this issue.

Why should the MGC trust Massachusetts sports betting operators this time around?

The first time the MGC held a meeting, Massachusetts sports betting operators cited confidential risk management practices. If discussing limiting bets is done publicly, it could threaten that confidential information. That was the excuse that most sports betting operators gave the first time around. The only sportsbook to attend the first MGC meeting was Bally’s. Ironically, they’re not even open in Massachusetts for business yet. MGC president Natasha Skinner questioned if these betting operators would change the second time around.  

She detailed that these operators cannot just show up for a redo to make things right. Skinner noted that operators said they couldn’t talk the first time due to sensitive information. Her fellow commissioner Ellen O’Brien is not opposed to giving sports betting operators another chance. O’Brien had this to say.

As has been said by all of us, we need to meet first and figure out what it is, with the information we were given … where are we? And what are the questions we want to ask going forward?” said O’Brien. “  I don’t think an open-ended roundtable is the way to go. I think putting it on as a freestanding meeting or an agenda on a shorter meeting is the way to go.”

Limiting is not a word that sportsbooks like to hear

While discussions of limiting sportsbooks in Massachusetts have happened, commissioners of major operations could call the fairness of limiting into question. A possible amendment could happen to that state regulation to stop limiting from happening in the first place. If limits are placed on MA sportsbooks, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, and Penn Entertainment could see impacts on their business. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission needs more time to figure out what their plan of attack will be. They want to be fully prepared the next time they meet with Massachusetts sports betting operators.