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MA Regulators to Discuss Betting Limits: A Proactive Approach | Point Spreads

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is taking a proactive stance in regards to limits placed on winning sports bettors. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. So on Tuesday, the state is taking the unique approach of having MA regulators to discuss betting limits with the top sportsbooks in the state. They include DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, ESPN Bet, and others. Both retail sportsbook operators and the sports betting app sector will be included.

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This is an informational meeting, called the “Sports Wagering Operator Wager Limitations Roundtable.” Public comment is expected to be the first part of the meeting. The portion having MA regulators to discuss betting limits will also see questions asked of the sportsbooks. The list of questions includes:

  1. Please detail how and why a patron may be limited on your platform, including how you may limit patrons on an individual basis.

2. Please explain the experience of a patron once they become limited.

3. What are the responsible gaming implications if patron limits are more heavily regulated?

4. What would be the impacts to the industry if allowing limits on individual patrons was prohibited or limited by law or regulation?

5. What are other jurisdictions and/or other sports books doing?

The question most people want asked, “Why do you limit the accounts of winners, but not losers?” was not included on the list.

If the MGC decides to take action, a regulation will be proposed. There would then need to be a public hearing. A final vote would then take place to determine the next action.

Sportsbooks Within Rights to Limit Wagers

Even though MA regulators to discuss betting limits with the sportsbooks, there isn’t much the MGC can do about it. The sportsbooks’ best argument is going to be the state’s sports betting statute.

“Unless otherwise directed by the Commission, there is no limitation as to the minimum or maximum wager a Sports Wagering Operator may accept,” the statute reads. “This rule does not preclude a Sports Wagering Operator from establishing its own minimum or maximum wagers, or limiting a patron’s Sports Wager for reasons considered necessary or appropriate by the Sports Wagering Operator.”

In its general rules, DraftKings makes mention of being able to limit or refuse wagers.

“All bet selections are subject to pre-imposed limits set solely at DraftKings’ discretion which may be lower than the limits mentioned in the Sport Specific Limits and/or mentioned elsewhere on DraftKings’ platform,” the sportsbook states in its rules. “DraftKings reserves the right to decline or void, in its sole discretion, all, or part of, any bet requested. This includes the possibility that a “System bet” is not accepted in full, either in terms of wagers or combinations included in said “System bet.”

The MGC does deserve some credit for trying to help its residents involved in sports gambling. In reality, there isn’t much it can do to change the practice of limiting bet amounts. The sportsbooks have that right and they aren’t afraid to enforce it if it serves their best interest.

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