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Massachusetts waives sports betting affiliate ban until April 14

Massachusetts Gaming Commission has launched a self exclusion register.

The Massachusetts Gambling Commission last Thursday voted 5-0 to halt the state’s ban on sports betting affiliate marketing until April 14.

The decision means that sports wagering operators in Massachusetts can rest easy regarding affiliate marketing arrangements ahead of the March 10 launch of online sports betting in the Bay State.

However, the language of 205 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 256 still prevents financial arrangements between sportsbooks and affiliate marketing companies as regulators were unwilling to permanently remove the restrictions.

After careful review and talks with operators, the MGC voted to allow cost per acquisition (CPA) arrangements between operators and marketing affiliates. According to the board, such deals will make it easier to monitor and regulate promotional content from sports betting sites.

The regulatory authority convened on three occasions to deliberate last week before casting ballots on the issue.

Commissioner Eileen said at the start of the conversation, “What we wanted to do was stop saturation and protect the vulnerable, while allowing [operators] to market. But it seems the language we put in may have the opposite effect. We might be incentivizing operators to then do a mass inundation of the market, which is going to increase saturation, which is not what we want.”

Revenue sharing involves a sportsbook, such as DraftKings, compensating a marketing affiliate with a percentage of the earnings generated from each customer referred by the affiliate. In contrast, a CPA model, the sportsbook compensates the affiliate with a one-time finder’s fee for every new customer registered, which is sometimes called a “bounty”.

Commissioner Jordan Maynard said in the MGC meeting on Wednesday, “I’m comfortable (providing a waiver to allow affiliates) because someone is going to fill the space. And we should be regulating this.”

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