Encore Boston Harbor Heavily Fined for NCAA Betting Violations

Encore Boston Harbor has been fined $40,000 by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) for accepting illegal bets on two in-state women’s NCAA basketball games, marking a significant breach of state gambling regulations. The fines stem from incidents in February 2023, when the casino allowed wagers on Boston College women’s basketball matches against the University of North Carolina and the University of Louisville.

This contravention underscores the strict policies against betting on in-state college teams unless they are participating in a tournament, a rule designed to maintain the integrity of collegiate sports within Massachusetts.

The discovery of these unauthorized bets, totaling $213 across seven wagers, prompted a comprehensive investigation and subsequent adjudicatory hearing. It was revealed during the proceedings that despite a prior incident on February 2, 2023, involving a game between Boston College and Notre Dame, which resulted in a $10,000 fine, Encore Boston Harbor failed to implement effective controls to prevent similar breaches. The casino self-reported the subsequent unauthorized wagers on February 21, 2023, leading to the MGC’s decision.

In its deliberation, the MGC criticized Encore for its inadequate response to the initial violation and for not demonstrating control over its vendors or a coherent strategy to prevent future noncompliance. The commission’s resolution included a directive for Encore to conduct twice-daily audits of its sports offerings to ensure no in-state colleges or universities are listed for betting, highlighting the seriousness with which it views such violations.

This series of events at Encore Boston Harbor has cast a spotlight on the challenges and responsibilities of sports betting operators in adhering to complex regulatory landscapes. The MGC’s actions serve as a stern reminder of the importance of compliance and the potential repercussions for failing to uphold state gambling statutes and regulations.

Encore Boston Harbor Fined for NCAA Betting Violations

Encore Boston Harbor Fined for NCAA Betting Violations

With the burgeoning growth of sports betting in Massachusetts, evidenced by a sports betting handle of $858.1 million reported in January alone, the integrity of the system remains a paramount concern for both regulators and operators alike.

The repercussions of these incidents for Encore Boston Harbor extend beyond financial penalties to encompass broader concerns about operational oversight and the effectiveness of internal controls. As the state of Massachusetts continues to navigate the complexities of regulated sports betting, the enforcement actions taken against Encore Boston Harbor underscore the commitment of the MGC to uphold the law and protect the integrity of collegiate sports.

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Elina Blagoeva is a member of the Mr. Sweepstakes editorial team. She studied Multimedia and Creative Technologies at the KdG University of Applied Science and Arts in Antwerpen, Belgium.