July 25, 2023 2 min read

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Massachusetts Deliberates Potential Penalties to DraftKings over Unauthorized Tennis Wagers

Hundreds of bets on unauthorized tennis events have placed DraftKings in hot water with the Bay State’s gambling regulator

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been deliberating whether to issue a penalty to the sportsbook after the operator notified the commission that it had accepted 864 wagers worth a total of $7,867 on UTR Pro Tennis Tour events.

DraftKings Admits Mea Culpa in Massachusetts, But Not Really

Although all was conducted business as usual, the UTR Pro Tennis Tour was not included in the list of eligible events to offer wagers on and is considered to be an offense on the part of the sportsbook.

DraftKings has described the incident as a miscommunication between the compliance and trading teams. Traders copied the list of events from another state but did not check in with the compliance officers who are the ones responsible for giving a final go-ahead before an event can be featured on the website.

DraftKings has admitted to the offense but has done all it can to explain that it was an honest mistake and accident – something that has historically sat poorly with regulators who prefer to take the issue in its entirety.

Regardless, DraftKings informed the regulator on March 23 leading to a hearing on Monday, July 24. During the hearing before the commission, a DraftKings representative explained that the internal processes of a sportsbook were not easy and that a lot of communication was necessary to move things forward.

The spokesperson also insisted that DraftKings has had an immaculate track record with other states and would never knowingly or purposefully commit a mistake of this type. They had a point as DraftKings has not been known to intentionally breach gambling laws in any of the jurisdictions it has set up shop.

Full Disclosure Behind Closed Doors

The meeting was held behind closed doors, however, which DraftKings senior director of regulatory operations Jake List explained that this was due to the sensitive information discussed, some of which could reveal trade secrets to competitors.

The commission had agreed and granted the request to keep the matter behind closed doors. However, the Monday meeting was not enough whether DraftKings is eligible for a penalty just yet. Regardless, the commission has a track record as a hardliner on similar offense.

Other companies have also butted heads with the commission over the past months, including Barstool Sportsbook. The commission is yet to plan on DraftKings’ case, but whatever that decision may be, DraftKings is unlikely to lose significant momentum in the Bay State.  

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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