Massachusetts regulator to review Plainridge Park, Encore Boston casinos’ compliance with sports betting rules

Massachusetts gaming officials are set to take a closer look at two of the three state’s casinos over their level of compliance with sports betting rules. The properties might not have followed regulations on what sporting events are approved for wagering, authorities believe.

Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor will be under the magnifying glass over potential compliance failures just over a week after the launch of sports betting in the state, which took place on January 31.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold a meeting today, Thursday, with an agenda item stating that members of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will give an “update” on these two properties’ compliance with the Approved Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog. 

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

A spokesperson for the Commission told State House News Service that officials will give a status update on catalog compliance during the first week of sports betting

The sports betting catalog is a list of what events and awards people in Massachusetts can bet on. It was approved by commissioners last month, and includes dozens of sporting events, from NFL to less popular competitions, such as professional darts and Pesäpallo, the national game of Finland. 

Bettors can also place money on 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.

On the day of the market’s debut, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Karen Wells, described the launch as ‘successful’. On January 31, Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor made sports betting history by opening betting windows and kiosks to adults 21 and older.

The Gaming Commission has not set a timeline for the start of mobile betting yet, which the commission was told generally makes up between 85% and 95% of all betting activity, other than its target of an “early March” launch.

That would make mobile betting available in time for the NCAA basketball tournament, which begins March 14. The sports betting launch drew a smattering of public officials who, in many cases, put down wagers on events that were not decided this week, such as the Super Bowl, the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup, or the Boston Celtics winning another NBA championship.