Did Penn Win MA Sports Betting Hearing On ‘Can’t Lose Parlay’ Promo?

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MA sports betting

A representative for Penn Sports Interactive told MA sports betting regulators it would sign documentation ensuring a permanent ban on its future usage of the term “Can’t Lose Parlay.” 

However, during Wednesday’s adjudicatory hearing, an attorney representing PSI argued that the Barstool Sportsbook promotion, which has been taken down since March, did not violate Massachusetts sports betting regulations. 

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will making its ruling on the matter public at a later date. 

MA sports betting issue at a glance

The “Can’t Lose Parlay” belongs to Dan Katz, better known to Barstool fans as “Big Cat.”

A four-leg, NCAA college basketball parlay was posted by Katz following the March 10 launch of legal online MA sports betting.

The commission learned of the matter at the time, primarily through media inquiries. Barstool voluntarily ceased using the wagering promotion since March 13

Penn MA sports betting defense

Penn centered its argument as follows: 

“No reasonable person would’ve concluded that they were engaging in a risk-free, sure-thing type bet,” outside counsel Jonathan Albano said. “ … We’re willing to address the commission’s concerns about the ‘CLP’ by permanently terminating the offering.” 

Penn VP and chief compliance officer Chris Soriano said the company would be willing to sign documentation to guarantee that.

Penn: ‘Big Cat’ is a terrible bettor

Penn said reasonable people would have prior knowledge that Katz is a terrible bettor. Meanwhile, the “Can’t Lose Parlay” verbiage is satire.

Albano added that of the approximately 122,000 CLP players, 55% were repeat bettors, while 90% already lost the first time.

Penn contends that meant they were aware of the risks of such a longshot wager hitting.

MGC did not seem swayed by defense

Yet the MGC did not seemed moved by that argument.

Commissioner Eileen O’Brien said that those people could simply be chasing their losses. 

Commissioner Bradford Hill added that it did not matter if the majority of people were reasonable. It was his responsibility to protect the 10% who could be problem gamblers. 

Penn concluding remarks

Several other jurisdictions have allowed the “Can’t Lose Parlay,” Penn said in its closing remarks.

However, recent states to market like Massachusetts and Ohio have implemented some of the strictest advertising regulations in the country. 

The commission will also consider whether PSI ran afoul by Barstool founder Dave Portnoy making a $13,458.70 public wager on Katz’s “Can’t Lose Parlay.”

PSI argued that Portnoy is wealthy enough to be able to make a bet of that size.