Encore Boston Harbor Took Illegal Bets on Boston College Women’s Basketball…Again

  • Betting on in-state college teams is illegal in Massachusetts
  • Encore Boston Harbor changed a setting to disallow in-state college bets
  • The MGC believes this setting automatically changed back for women’s basketball
  • All three of the state’s casinos have had problems with taking illegal bets
Encore Boston Harbor
Encore Boston Harbor took illegal bets on an in-state college basketball team for the second time in February. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Encore Boston Harbor in the spotlight

Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts took illegal bets on the Boston College Eagles women’s basketball team for the second time this month.

betting on in-state college teams is prohibited

In a meeting on Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) noted that the casino self-reported a similar incident earlier in February. Betting on in-state college teams is prohibited under the framework of Massachusetts’ sports betting legislation.

The casino has pulled all women’s college basketball betting lines until it can figure out the issue. The MGC believes that there was a problem with the technology platform provided by GAN.

More illegal bets in Massachusetts 

Encore Boston Harbor assured the commission after its first infraction that it “implemented additional measures to ensure compliance.” Infractions were said to have occurred “over the past few days.”

According to Bruce Band, the MGC’s sports betting director, the casino tuned its system to prevent individuals from betting on in-state college teams. However, the system automatically reverted itself and allowed bets on any team.

we have locked all NCAA women’s college basketball betting”

“Through our audits we identified a programming error in the system as it relates to NCAA women’s college basketball markets and are currently working with our provider on a permanent solution,” a spokesperson for Encore Boston Harbor spokesperson wrote in an email. “In the interim, we have locked all NCAA women’s college basketball betting.” 

Massachusetts bettors will not be able to wager on women’s college basketball games until officials can figure out how to stop the technology from automatically resetting itself and allowing bets on any teams. 

Officials have not revealed how long betting lines were unlocked or how much money was illegally allowed to slip through the cracks. Band promised that the MGC will release more details “in the coming week or so.”

Working out the kinks

Massachusetts retail sports betting went live on January 31 at three casinos—Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park. Online betting has already been agreed upon and is expected to launch on March 10, just in time for the annual college basketball tournament affectionately known as March Madness.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, the Boston College women’s team is not having the best season and is unlikely to participate in the national tournament. The Eagles are just 14-16 and 4-13 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play.

MGC officials said that moneyline betting was allowed during BC’s February 2 game against Notre Dame for roughly five hours, which was the incident Encore Boston Harbor previously self-reported. Only one bet was placed on this line, and it was part of a $70 five-leg parlay.

not only at Encore but the two other casinos in Massachusetts

The state plans on holding meetings to determine why illegal bets have been allowed not only at Encore but the two other casinos in Massachusetts. 

Plainridge Park let bettors wager on in-state Merrimack College during its February 2 game against Long Island University. A total of $6,848 in wagers and $4,270 in winnings were transacted.

MGM Springfield also accepted bets on two Harvard University men’s basketball games.

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