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Encore fined $40,000 for illegal college sports bets

Local News Mass. gaming commission ‘expects more’ after fining Encore $40,000 for illegal bets Patrons were able to bet on multiple Boston College women’s basketball games last February. David L Ryan/Globe Staff
Encore Boston Harbor will pay a $40,000 fine for allowing bets on two Boston College women’s basketball teams last year, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced Monday.
Encore self-reported the unsanctioned betting after patrons placed the bets on Feb. 12, 2023 and Feb. 19, 2023, as they were available at the casino’s kiosks. Betting on in-state collegiate sports is not allowed unless they’re competing in a tournament.
“We hold ourselves to the highest compliance standards in the industry and will adhere to the MGC’s decision,” a spokesperson for Encore said.
Earlier that February, Encore allowed betting on another BC women’s basketball game. In July, they were fined $10,000 after patrons were able to bet on a Feb. 2, 2023 game.
According to the commission, Encore and WynnBET’s system GAN Nevada didn’t include BC’s women’s basketball team as part of the casino’s blacklist because the team was in the system twice. The casino implemented twice-daily audits after Feb. 2 to ensure regular season games weren’t available for betting.
Despite the audits, two games slipped through the cracks — when BC lost to the University of North Carolina 73-55 on Feb. 12 and their loss to the University of Louisville 62-52 on Feb. 19. The commission said Encore didn’t catch the illegal betting because the games were uploaded around 30 minutes before the games.
Between the two games, Encore caught other future games involving women’s collegiate basketball teams in their system on Feb. 15. They manually disabled the games, which did not stay disabled, the commission said, allowing for betting on the Feb. 19 game.
The total wagered on Feb. 12 was $163, and on Feb. 19, there were four wagers amounting to $50. The winnings were $53 and $9, respectively.
The incident was self-reported on Feb. 21, which the commission said it “appreciates.” The commission also noted that a total of seven illegal bets were placed, and Encore continues the twice-daily audits.
Still, the gaming commission admonished Encore’s inability to “control” its vendors or to protect against a repeat of the Feb. 2 instance. They said Encore’s initial solution was to completely remove women’s collegiate basketball as a betting offering.
“Such a fix, by sledgehammer rather than scalpel, is not an ideal solution,” they wrote. “Operators should work to identify issues and fix them in a nuanced
manner, that reflects a full understanding of the issue in question.”
The violation is “serious,” constituting the $40,000 fine, the commission said.
“The purpose of the fine is two-fold, serving both as a consequence for violating statute, regulation, and the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog
and as a deterrent from letting the same or similar violations occur again,” it wrote. “The Commission expects more of its Operators and licensees.”



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