Encore Boston Harbor Fined $40,000 for Accepting Illegal College Sports Bets

Mobile Betting


  • Seven users placed wagers on Boston College women’s basketball illegally
  • Encore Boston Harbor faced repeated issues regarding the B.C. women’s team
  • The MGC has been busy handing out fines to various operators

The Massachusetts sports betting sports betting regulator had to issue yet another fine after a casino offered illegal betting odds.

Encore Boston Harbor was fined $40,000 by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) for allowing users to place bets on Boston College women’s basketball last year. That was the second time since July the casino was fined for the same infraction. 

The casino also offered odds for a February 2, 2023 women’s basketball game between Boston College and Notre Dame, three days after retail sports betting went live, resulting in a $10,000 fine.

Repeated failures 

Massachusetts is one of 25 states (of the 38 USA legal sports betting states) that prohibit sportsbooks from accepting wagers on events involving in-state colleges and universities, unless those programs are competing in a tournament (such as March Madness).

“The Commission issued this fine following an Investigations and Enforcement Bureau investigation and an adjudicatory hearing in which the operator participated,” the MGC said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the commission's findings, Encore accepted bets on games between Boston College and North Carolina on Feb. 12, 2023, and Boston College and the University of Louisville on Feb. 19, 2023.

The casino’s initial response was for WynnBet, the sportsbook operator, to remove all women’s college basketball betting lines from the catalog of available bets. However, they were later republished and still included the B.C. women’s team.

A ruling showed that Jacquir Krum, senior VP and general counsel for the casino, reported the mistake to the commission on Feb. 21. That prompted the commission to launch an investigation dated March 8, 2023, into the casino’s wrongdoings.

The totals of the infractions were fairly low—there were just seven illegal wagers placed at casino kiosks totaling $213. However, the commission has dealt with numerous instances of operators publishing unapproved betting lines.

The MGC said that it was pleased Encore self-reported the incident instead of trying to cover it up but still needed to face punishment for its actions.

Struggles and successes 

The MGC said the cause of the error was the casino failing to “blacklist” the Eagles’ women’s basketball team’s identification number after they noticed the first error (for which they were fined $10,000). They also condemned the casino’s decision to scrub all women’s college basketball betting lines from their board as a first response instead of choosing a more fitting solution.

“Despite identifying the first noncompliance incident, Encore failed to resolve the underlying issue or put adequate guardrails in place, resulting in its immediate repetition,” said the MGC. “Such a fix, by sledgehammer rather than scalpel, is not an ideal solution.” 

“The Commission expects more of its Operators and licensees,” it noted.

The MGC recently also fined DraftKings after the company was found guilty of allowing patrons to deposit funds into their accounts using credit cards for four months, which is illegal per the state’s gaming agreement. Card-based deposits may only come from debit cards. 

DraftKings also allowed users to bet on an unauthorized UTR pro tennis match, which it was also fined for.

Although the first year of the state’s sports betting market has been turbulent, it’s been quite fruitful. Retail and online sportsbooks accepted a cumulative $651.8 million in bets during January, leading to $72.7 million in gross gaming revenue and $14.2 million in taxes for the state.

Including casino totals, January Massachusetts gaming produced $164.7 million in total taxable gaming revenue and generated $40.4 million in tax funding.