More than 400,000 mobile sports betting accounts were active in the first three days the activity was available in Massachusetts and more than 8 million transactions took place, making Massachusetts the fifth-biggest mobile betting state in the country as of this past weekend.
GeoComply, a provider that provides geolocation and fraud detection services to the Gambling Commission, announced Tuesday that over the past weekend it has recorded 406,437 unique player accounts and 8.1 million “geolocation” transactions across the six cell phone operators reported Friday in the Bay State have gone live. In-person betting started in late January, but mobile betting is expected to quickly become the dominant method of sports betting here.
The company said it also prevented more than 5,000 transactions from “devices or accounts with a known history of fraud, saving its customers tens of thousands of dollars.”
“Today, one of the biggest challenges facing operators is getting real players on board and keeping scammers out,” said Lindsay Slader, senior vice president of compliance at GeoComply. “With the gold standard of geolocation and an experienced team of experts, we are uniquely positioned to lead the fight against fraud in all its forms.”
Only New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York recorded more sports betting activity over the weekend, GeoComply said, although it noted that the data included in a press release “does not purport to be definitive or represent the entire market in Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction, but is intended to provide general insights into the relevant market dynamics.”
GeoComply represents the Mass. Gaming Commission also provided nearly $1,300 worth of video and technical equipment to enable the Commission to install a screen in the public lobby of its downtown Boston headquarters that displays real-time sports betting geolocation data.
Commission Executive Director Karen Wells said last week that the display “will show where all bets are being placed – live and in real time – across mobile sportsbooks, phones and other devices… so staff, commissioners and the public are coming.” in public gatherings at some point in the near future.”
Illegal Betting Hearings
The commissioners got a sense of how such incidents would be handled differently if they happened in the mobile betting universe during Tuesday morning’s first formal hearing into the spate of illegal college bets accepted at in-person sportsbooks last month.
The first of two hearings focused on Encore Boston Harbor’s acceptance of a wager on a Boston College women’s basketball game against Notre Dame on Feb. 2 overall, according to commission investigators. The bettor made the bet at a self-service kiosk and Encore voided the BC portion of that parlay before the ticket was redeemed.
But Encore wasn’t able to tell the bettor that they wouldn’t be paid out on the void portion of their game until they came to pay out the next day, Encore senior vice president and general counsel Jacqui Krum said, because they didn’t had. I don’t know who the bettor was. But if the bet was placed on the WynnBet mobile app, or if the customer used a Wynn Rewards card, the bettor could be notified once the sportsbook determines that it is allowing a prohibited bet.
“We would contact the customer and advise that the bet is a prohibited bet and that under our Terms of Service and Terms of Service we are not permitted to offer the bet,” Jennifer Roberts, WynnBet’s general counsel, said in response to commission questions. “That that part of the parlay would have been voided…but the parlay ticket could continue with the remaining legs.”
Massachusetts Betting Law permits wagering on competitions involving a Massachusetts school only if the competition is part of a tournament involving at least four teams.
The Gambling Commission afternoon hearing related specifically to the acceptance of wagers at Plainridge Park Casino on February 2 on a Merrimack College vs. Long Island University men’s basketball game. Chief Enforcement Counsel Heather Hall said the event was open to action because sportsbook Kambi “erroneously assigned the participating school state for Merrimack College as Florida instead of Massachusetts.”
33 bets were placed on the game totaling $6,848. Bettors won $4,270 based on those wagers, Hall said. Almost all bets on the Merrimack game were placed at the Plainridge betting kiosks, but four were placed at the betting booth with a “clerk” or teller. And it was one of those writers who pointed out the problem for Plainridge’s management.
The Gambling Commission made no decisions on Tuesday, and commissioners used the afternoon to deliberate privately. Commission decisions will be communicated in writing, Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said. In any case, the options for the Commission are the imposition of an administrative fine under civil law, the condition of the operator’s license, the suspension of the license, the revocation of the license, the licensee’s complaint “and/or” the imposition of a fine on the operator.
How the Gambling Commission handles these violations could set a standard for the new Massachusetts industry, and regulators have scheduled additional hearings into similar violations at MGM Springfield and another case of illegal college betting at Encore.
(Copyright (c) 2022 State House News Service.
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