Betting buzz: Operators don’t attend MGC hearing on limiting bettors

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May 21: Massachusetts Gaming Commission discusses limiting bettors

Purdum: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission held a public roundtable Tuesday to discuss the controversial bookmaking practice of limiting bettors.

Ten sportsbook operators in Massachusetts that were invited to the roundtable declined to participate, citing concerns over confidentiality of proprietary systems and risk management strategies, and instead requesting a private session to discuss the topic.

According to MGC interim chair Jordan Maynard, the roundtable was prompted by complaints from consumers about having the amount they can wager reduced by the state’s sportsbooks. It included commentary from gambling industry consultants, an advocate for responsible gambling and a professional bettor. No new policies were enacted, the committee continued further discussion of the topic.

In its written response to the MGC, Penn Entertainment, which operates ESPN BET, said it reserves the right to change betting and payout limits. “Penn may limit a patron for various reasons, including taking advantage of manipulating the sportsbook or abusing promotional play,” Samantha Haggerty, deputy chief compliance officer for Penn National, wrote.

In addition to Penn Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fanatics, Caesars Sportsbook, Encore Boston Harbor and BetMGM were among the sportsbooks that declined to participate and provided written confirmation to the MGC. A spokesperson for DraftKings said in a statement that “any meaningful discussion on wagering limits would necessarily involve the disclosure of DraftKings’ confidential risk management practices and other commercially sensitive business information.”

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