MGC invests in combating human trafficking near MA casinos

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Human Trafficking
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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is taking steps to combat human trafficking.

On Thursday, the MGC announced its plan to provide grants to support law enforcement in preventing instances of human trafficking in regions that house casinos across the state. The MGC will also be funding a study of casino-related crime in Massachusetts.

“These initiatives underscore the MGC’s unwavering dedication to prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of individuals within our communities by prosecuting human trafficking and protecting vulnerable populations,” said Interim MGC Chair Jordan Maynard. “These grants represent a significant investment in our collective efforts to combat human trafficking by providing agencies with the necessary information and resources.”

The MGC is awarding grants through the Community Mitigation Fund allowing law enforcement agencies statewide to expand their teams. The expansion will allow the agencies to take on a higher volume of cases while being provided with more resources.

The MGC is allocating the grants to the Attorney General’s Office and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. The commission is also distributing $160,000 to the Safe Exit Initiative, which will conduct the study of casino-related crime in the state.

Massachusetts regulator staying busy  

Last week, the MGC handed Fanatics Sportsbook a $10,000 fine for accepting a wager on an in-state college football game. The MGC bans wagering on in-state colleges and universities unless athletic programs are part of tournaments with four or more teams.

A probe by the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau found that Fanatics accepted a $50 futures bet in December 2023 on a bowl game between Boston College and Southern Methodist University. Fanatics self-reported the infraction and subsequently refunded the wager. Fanatics joined Encore Boston Harbor for college-related incidents.

Encore Boston Harbor was fined $40,000 in February for retail bets on in-state schools.