Massachusetts Sportsbooks to Explain Bettor Limitations to State Regulators

Massachusetts sportsbooks explaining bettor limitations
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A month after skipping a roundtable to discuss the issue of limiting or prohibiting bettors, the seven online sportsbook operators in Massachusetts have agreed to meet with state regulators. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced during its Thursday meeting that the online sportsbooks holding licenses in the state have agreed to explain their practices regarding limiting certain bettors.

Background of the Issue

On May 21, the MGC held a similar discussion, but only Bally’s Bet, which has yet to commence its online sports wagering business in Massachusetts, participated. The other six operational sportsbooks—DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, ESPN Bet, and Fanatics Sportsbook—declined to attend, citing proprietary concerns.

MGC Interim Chair Jordan Maynard mentioned that the agency has received numerous complaints from bettors who claim they have been limited or banned without adequate explanation. The MGC aims to understand the reasons behind these limitations.

Change of Heart

The sportsbooks initially refused to participate in the May roundtable, arguing that discussing their confidential risk management practices and other sensitive business information in an open forum could compromise their competitive edge. However, they have now agreed to a public discussion, surprising some MGC commissioners.

Commissioner Nakisha Skinner expressed skepticism about the sportsbooks’ sudden willingness to engage. “Why is the second time around better?” she asked, hinting at the possibility of collusion among the sportsbooks to present a unified front. Skinner also voiced concerns about whether the operators would be fully transparent during the meeting.

Maynard assured that the sportsbooks have agreed to educate the MGC on their limitation practices.

Legal Framework

Massachusetts lawmakers and then-Gov. Charlie Baker authorized sports betting in August 2022. The statute does not prohibit licensed sportsbooks from setting minimum or maximum betting limits. Similar to how casinos can exclude patrons at their discretion, online sportsbooks have the same authority.

The statute reads, “Unless otherwise directed by the Commission, there is no limitation as to the minimum or maximum wager a Sports Wagering Operator may accept. 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.”

Sportsbooks have previously stated that they limit or prohibit bettors for various reasons, often unrelated to the bettor’s win rate. Andrew Steffen, the MGC’s sports wagering operations manager, explained that sportsbooks claim to limit wagers to preserve the integrity of sporting events and prevent undue influence on the outcome of games.

Upcoming Discussion

The upcoming meeting between the MGC and the sportsbooks is expected to shed light on the reasons behind bettor limitations. This discussion will provide valuable insights into the operational practices of sportsbooks and their approach to risk management.


The decision by Massachusetts sportsbooks to meet with state regulators marks a significant step towards transparency in the sports betting industry. As the MGC seeks to understand the reasons behind bettor limitations, the outcome of this discussion could influence future regulations and ensure a fairer betting environment for all participants. The upcoming meeting will be closely watched by stakeholders and bettors alike, as it holds the potential to shape the future of sports betting practices in Massachusetts.