Massachusetts Lawmakers Vote To Allow CPA Deals Ahead Of Mobile Launch

Written By Giovanni Shorter on March 2, 2023
massachusetts online sports betting

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has made its decision regarding CPA deals with third-party online sports betting affiliate marketing. Initially, the Old Bay State was aiming to ban said partnerships in its regulations. Due to pushback, the MGC met and voted to allow these deals for now, with a deadline set for April 14. In the interim, regulators will be working on a new set of rules that will go into place post-April 14.

Massachusetts Mobile Betting Incoming

Massachusetts lawmakers were originally working to regulate marketing in a way that protects underage citizens from gambling ads. With that goal in mind, the regulations were set to eliminate popular third-party affiliate marketing partnerships that have become the norm in the industry.

All week, lawmakers have been hearing discussions from experts on the matter, ultimately determining that the regulations may be too harsh. The benefits that affiliate marketing brings to the industry were not quite clear to the MGC early on.

“We learned that our regulation might be raising issues that we weren’t aware of, and whenever we learn that there might be either unexpected consequences or at least questions, we want to hear from the stakeholders who can best explain it to us,” Cathy Judd-Stein, chairwoman of the MGC, said. “At a later time, we’ll look at the regulations and decide if we want to make any changes.”

Affiliates Fight Against Policy

Representatives from prominent affiliate marketing corporations joined forces to advocate on behalf of the industry. Several arguments were raised explaining how affiliate groups combat the illegal market and educate residents across the country. They led to the MGC’s final decision.

“We can’t afford to eliminate the affiliates who are responsible for driving 30% of these consumers to operators, because those consumers are going to be the ones who are going to be entertained on the various operator sites and generate the taxes that Massachusetts needs and scale the business and take away market share from the offshore industry, which was all part of the goal of legalizing,” Jeff Ifrah, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who represents three affiliate marketing media companies, said. “So what we’d like to see is a more relaxed approach which is more consistent with the majority of states. … We’d like to keep Massachusetts in line with what the other states are doing because we think that’s really the recipe for success.”

MGC Looks Ahead Towards The Impending Launch

Mobile sportsbooks in Massachusetts will go live beginning at 10 a.m. on March 10. Lawmakers have already approved the incoming sportsbooks and set the launch date. Leading up to the launch, the MGC continues to meet regarding finer details, including the affiliate marketing partnerships.

The MGC also continues to have issues surrounding regulated books accepting college bets illegally. There have been violations at all local books. Lawmakers would like to have this cleaned up before Massachusetts online sports betting is officially live.

Despite the launch being just over a week away, there is plenty to be done in Massachusetts.

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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