On November 23, BetMGM received Maryland mobile sports wagering licenses and began one of seven sportsbooks with that license.

However, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission assessed a $146,000 fine. This fine beat the previous record of $5,000.

The company agreed to pay the fine on Thursday, after acknowledging early admitting of bets. They accepted 146 live sports bets that were worth more than $2,000 during the pre-launch test that lasted for three hours. That happened on November 16, a week before the license was granted.

An honest mistake:

Rhea Loney, BetMGM’s chief compliance officer, said in a video call that bettors were allowed to enter legal sports betting and, immediately after the registration, place their bet. However, players were not properly redirected to another page that was supposed to show the message that the site would be live.

After the software error was discovered, wagering was halted. Additionally, the company started working with Maryland regulators to correct the error. John Mooney, the Commission’s chief regulator, stated that all money had been refunded to the players.

Randy Marriner, chairman of the Commission, said: “This appears to be an inadvertent mistake, and it’s also the largest penalty we’ve issued to anyone.”

Harold Hodges was the only commissioner who was against the fine. He wanted the delay of the vote while further investigation was conducted. He stated: “Even though it may be the largest penalty [ever assessed], I see that as no more powerful than a slap on the hand or wrist, frankly.”

He further added: “I frankly am opposed to it. I think, if anything, they should have their license withdrawn until we look at it and think, ‘Well, what can we do system-wide, so it doesn’t happen again?’”

The fine is not much of an issue for the company since it gained $186 million in bets during the first eight days of the launch.

More obstacles:

This is not the first issue when it comes to BetMGM. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also fined the company $7,500. Also, New Jersey announced a violation of those rules, racking up a $25,000 fine.

Ontario’s AGCO also fined a company $48,000 for violating some major marketing standards towards competitors. The largest fine in the U.S., when it comes to the gaming industry, was $31.5 million. This is actually a settlement between the federal government and giants Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo. This settlement was issued in 2009, and it is related to promoting illegal gambling.





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