Regulators Open Inquiry Into Barstool Massachusetts Promo Offer

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 16, 2023Last Updated on March 18, 2023
Barstool Promo MA Sports Betting Regulators Unhappy

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is set to discuss a possible unlawful action by the Barstool Sportsbook for using “unfair or deceptive” messaging in a Massachusetts sports betting offer.

The promotion in question is from Barstool personality Dan Katz (Big Cat), who used the phrase “Can’t Lose,” in his promotion offer. 

Barstool breaks Massachusetts sports betting law

Penn CEO Jay Snowden told Massachusetts lawmakers the branding was an attempt at humor. Snowden also said Penn had&
stopped using the “Can’t Lose” promotion indefinitely. 

“It’s meant to be funny, it’s not meant to be pushing something viewed as ‘can’t lose,’” Snowden said. “[Dan Katz] is one of the worst gamblers in the world.”

However, state regulators do not appear to be laughing. Similar to Ohio, Massachusetts features some of the strictest advertising regulations in the country. 

This is the second advertising violation Barstool has faced in the past two months. In February, PENN Entertainment paid a $250,000 fine to Ohio regulators for promoting its sportsbook near the University of Toledo.

According to Ohio gaming law, such a promotion, including appearances by Barstool personalities, is a violation. 

Possible disciplinary actions

The violation was first reported by Loretta Lillios, Chief Enforcement Counsel and Deputy Director of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) for the MGC.

According to Lillios, the MA office of the Attorney General has taken quick action on the alleged activity by Barstool.

The AG testified to the IEB, citing consumer protection law and indicating that sports betting operators must “operate within the context of existing laws and regulations.”

In the wake of the incident, the MGC could do several things to discipline Barstool. The same consequences would apply to any other operator in violation of MA gaming law, including:

  • Suspend or revoke a sports betting license
  • Amend the operator’s license
  • Impose a fine on the operator

Additionally, the IEB could take further action and recommend a remedy for any violations of state gaming law. 

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for Playin USA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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