First Day Of MA Sports Betting Hearing On Barstool Ends With Questions


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MA sports betting

MA sports betting regulators will head into executive session Wednesday to seek additional clarity about a pair of incidents regarding license hopeful Barstool Sportsbook, via Penn Entertainment

Commissioner Eileen O’Brien desired more information regarding a 2021 violation in Indiana and a pending lawsuit in Illinois

Barstool Sportsbook’s parent company Penn Entertainment is seeking a tethered online Massachusetts sports betting license via Plainridge Park Casino

Barstool under MA sports betting spotlight

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is conducting a suitability review into Barstool. The Investigations and Enforcement Bureau of the MGC determined there were “no substantial deficiencies.” 

The MGC put a greater spotlight on Barstool Sportsbook following a recent New York Times article that was critical of its founder, Dave Portnoy

Prior to the state launching sports betting, the Ohio Casino Control Commission fined Penn-Barstool $250,000 for advertising violations

Barstool Sportsbook: responsibility key

Much of Penn Entertainment’s license presentation revolved around its commitment to responsible gaming. Revised policies now include taking out the term “risk-free” from its promotional betting language. 

“We know that we’re not perfect, and have made mistakes in the past,” Penn Entertainment VP of legal and business affairs Michael West said. “We own those mistakes. We’ve learned from them. And we strive to continue to be an industry leader in responsible gaming.” 

Details of Indiana incident

Penn Entertainment paid a $10,000 settlement in Indiana regarding a “questionable” TikTok video about gambling losses posted by Barstool Sports. The operator self-reported the video in March. The regulator issued a fine in October. 

Penn VP and chief compliance officer Christopher Soriano explained the situation. But O’Brien wanted more specifics. She sought to understand the consequences and internal controls that were adjusted to ensure a similar incident would not happen again. 

Soriano planned to provide more detail to MA sports betting regulators during Wednesday’s executive session. 

More to come in MA sports betting hearing Wednesday

The Illinois lawsuit will also be discussed in executive session, as it contains confidential information. In addition, regulators will also review Penn’s projected revenues in Massachusetts. 

Tuesday’s hearing lasted about three and a half hours. 

BetFanatics will follow Barstool on its tethered online sports betting license application via Plainridge Park. 



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