Fanatics Sports Betting Violation: What Happened in MA?

Fanatics Sports Betting Violation: What Happened in MA?

Fanatics was fined $10,000 by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for taking an illegal college football bet on Boston College.

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In these types of cases, a panel of commissioners from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission votes on whether or not the conduct deserves what’s called the “civil administrative penalty.”

In the case of the Fanatics sports betting violation, the Commission voted 4-0 to levy the fine on Fanatics for its conduct. This vote was reached after a recommendation from the state’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, which began investigating the bet after Fanatics self-reported it.

The interim chair of the Gaming Commission, Jordan Maynard, emphasized that the state’s guidelines have to be followed and that he was pleased with the result of the case because it showed that said guidelines were in fact followed by Fanatics.

The problem for sportsbooks taking action on so many picks and parlays across sports and leagues is that they need to have properly working safeguards in place so that improper wagers — like in-state college sports — aren’t available in the first place.

Often, sportsbooks that get in trouble for these issues blame technology failures for allowing certain illegal bets to make it through security checks and onto public-facing betting boards.

Here, Fanatics said that the violation resulted from a trader’s accident and that the company took steps to make sure it wasn’t going to happen again. You can be sure that such a hefty fine will play a deterring role in the future.

It just isn’t worth it for sportsbooks to let bettors bet on these games when the upside — here, just $50 — is so much less worth it than the risks of the downside — a big fine.

Fanatics Was Slow To Remove Bet

A likely factor in the Commission’s harsh fine on Fanatics for the Fanatics sports betting violation is the fact that the market for the bet was open with the sportsbook for almost 20 hours from the morning of December 5th, 2023 through the morning of December 6th, 2023.

The game was played over three weeks later as Boston College wound up comfortably beating SMU by the score of 23 to 14.

Even the best sports gambling websites will have the occasional technical screw-up that allows bettors to put action on games that state law actually prevents them from wagering on.

Because so much of this business has to be automated or at least operated with heavily automated services and general human oversight, these issues will continue to pop up with sportsbooks in states that have the prohibitions in place on in-state college sports wagering.

The thinking is that these type of fine, even when Fanatics essentially did what it was supposed to do after uncovering the improper bet, could incentivize other sportsbook operators to be cautious about the software they use to display bet.

Also, it can encourage operators to monitor their listings very closely to ensure they comply with all the applicable laws. It’s a bad look for everyone when illegal bets are able to be placed.

For gambling news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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