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Massachusetts Considers Action Against Bovada Following National Trend

Posted on June 14, 2024 | 11:26 am

In Charleston, South Carolina, the North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA) is convening, bringing attention to Michigan’s recent cease and desist letter issued to Bovada, an offshore sportsbook operator. The development has sparked speculation that Connecticut may soon take similar measures, prompting other states to explore ways to combat the black market in gambling.

During a recent planning session of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), Commissioner Nakisha Skinner highlighted the issue, suggesting it should be a topic of discussion in an upcoming meeting of the five-member commission. “With Michigan spearheading a cease and desist letter and Connecticut reportedly following suit, I think it’s worth considering if we should discuss possible actions as a commission along those lines,” Skinner stated.

She acknowledged the limitations faced by the commission, pointing out that their capacity to act is restricted. However, she emphasized the importance of exploring available options. In Michigan, the cease and desist letter originated from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, in collaboration with Attorney General Dana Nessel, targeting unregulated gaming activities. Connecticut’s response is expected to come from the Department of Consumer Protection Gaming Division.

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Not The Only Method

Skinner suggested that a cease and desist order is not the sole method to influence the situation. She proposed considering measures such as holding vendors accountable and ensuring they do not collaborate with offshore gaming sites, following the example set by other jurisdictions.

Interim Chairman Jordan Maynard, who is attending the NAGRA meeting with Skinner, concurred that the issue warrants further discussion. As a result, it is likely to appear on the agenda for a forthcoming MGC meeting.

The growing attention to Bovada, a prominent offshore sportsbook and online casino, reflects a broader concern among U.S. regulators about the prevalence of unregulated online gambling. By addressing these issues, states aim to protect consumers and ensure a fair, regulated gaming environment. The actions by Michigan and Connecticut may serve as a blueprint for other states looking to strengthen their regulatory frameworks and crack down on illicit gambling operations.

Bovada, launched in 2011 primarily to serve US casino enthusiasts, was originally regulated by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission. However, it has been operating without a license since 2016. The online casino mainly offers live dealer games from VIG, a prominent international live casino supplier.

Source“MGC Agenda Setting Meeting – June 12, 2024“Massachusetts Gaming Commission. June 10, 2024.

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