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A week after launch, Mass. gaming officials to review whether 2 casinos are breaking rules




The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is set to review whether Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor are complying with rules about which events can and cannot be bet on.

Patrons place sports bets at kiosks in Encore Boston Harbor casino on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Steven Senne/Associated Press

Massachusetts gaming officials appear to be taking a closer look at whether or not two of the state’s three casinos that offer sports betting are following rules about the specific events that can be bet on.

Sports betting launched on Jan. 31, just over a week before officials will discuss whether or not Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor are complying with state rules. 

The specifics are not yet clear, but more could come to light during the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Feb. 9 meeting. An agenda item states that members of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will give an “update on Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor’s compliance with the Approved Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog.”

The MGC also anticipates meeting in an executive session in conjunction with the review of the casinos. The executive session will be to “discuss the details of any ongoing investigation related to the licensees’ compliance with the Approved Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog,” according to the agenda. 


A spokesperson for the MGC told State House News Service that officials will give a status update on “catalog compliance” during the first week of sports betting, but did not elaborate further. 

The “catalog” in question is essentially a list of what events and awards people in Massachusetts can bet on at this time. The catalog was approved by commissioners last month. It includes dozens of sporting events, from obvious choices like the NFL to more obscure competitions, like professional darts and Pesäpallo, the national game of Finland. Bettors can also place money on things like professional league drafts, the Super Bowl MVP, and the Academy Awards. 

Chess, cornhole, esports, and many Olympic events were not included in the initial catalog. The list is meant to be dynamic, officials have said, and the MGC can add or remove events in the future. 

The catalog was created and based on a joint request from Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor. While creating the catalog, some commissioners disagreed on whether to allow betting on awards not based on statistical achievements, such as the Academy Awards and MVP trophies, State House News Service reported.

Source: Boston Globe


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