MA To Consider Allowing Bets on Boston Marathon, Power Slap, 4 More Sports

Written By Matthew Bain on April 5, 2023 - Last Updated on April 18, 2023
MA to consider Boston Marathon, NRX, PowerSlap betting, from playma.com

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will vote whether to allow betting on the Boston Marathon, NRX racing, Power Slap and SlapFIGHT Championship, Street League Skateboarding, minigolf and Jai-Alai.

DraftKings is petitioning to offer bets on the Boston Marathon. US Integrity, a fraud and game manipulation prevention organization partnered with various leagues and sportsbooks, submitted all the other requests.

The Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog currently stands at 69 sports or sporting events.

Anyone can submit a formal petition to add a sport or event to the catalog. These are the first requests received by the MGC.

Boston Marathon

The oldest annual marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon has become one of the premier road racing events. It attracts top runners from across the world. The course takes runners through the city streets of Boston, with the finish line at Copley Square,  next to the Boston Public Library.

DraftKings is requesting it be allowed to offer bets on the top 20 men’s and women’s winners and Over/Under bets on the top 20 winning times. The Boston Marathon is April 17 this year. If the MGC approves this request, all six MA online sportsbooks — not just DraftKings — will be able to accept Boston Marathon bets.

NRX

NRX, or Nitro Rallycross, is a high-flying sport that pairs auto racing on a variety of surfaces with jumps over 100-foot gaps.

Created by action sports legend Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Circus production in 2018, NRX ran its first season of racing in 2021. And that season aired on the NBC family of networks.

Pastrana, Chase Elliot, Kyle Busch and Jensen Button are some of the well-known racing names who have competed in NRX. Although it involves big jumps, NRX is a racing sport, so wagers would be similar to what you’d see for NASCAR races or other already-approved action sports.

Power Slap, SlapFIGHT Championship

The MGC will consider allowing betting on an emerging sport — slap fighting — via two separate leagues: Power Slap and SlapFIGHT Championship.

Both leagues involve one-on-one slap matches where each competitor takes turns open-hand slapping each other. Winners are decided in the same way as other combat sports: A competitor either wins by knockout or by judge decision.

As silly as this sport may sound, it has legitimate backing. UFC President Dana White, for instance, leads Power Slap. And the Nevada State Athletic Association has sanctioned both leagues.

US Integrity submitted the petition to allowing slap fight betting. It’s asking the MGC to allow moneyline winner bets, Over/Under for total number of rounds and whether a knockout will occur.

This request could run into a couple issues. One, the MGC has been strict with sports that involve judging of any kind. Two, the MGC has also been strict with negative prop bets associated with injuries. Being knocked out is certainly an injury.

RELATED: Esports Betting In Massachusetts? No Requests Have Been Made — Yet

Street League Skateboarding

If you haven’t heard of it, Street League Skateboarding (or SLS) is basically the regular season for all the competitors you see in the X Games and Summer Olympics. In fact, all six medalists from the men’s and women’s skateboarding events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics compete on the SLS tour.

SLS focuses on skateboarding tricks performed on urban and public environments. The tour creates custom tracks for each competition. All events are streamed on ESPN+.

Although SLS proudly touts and legitimacy and fairness of its judging, it’s still judging. And the MGC has forbidden wagers on judged events in the Olympics and X Games, such as figure skating and gymnastics.

Street League Skateboarding betting in Massachusetts, from playma.com
An award ceremony following a Street League Skateboarding event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

World Putting League

Have you heard of the US Pro Minigolf Association? You have now.

Mini-golf betting in Massachusetts, from playma.com
A professional mini-golfer during a practice round in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mitch Stacy)

The USPMGA was founded in 1997 and has grown into a legitimate sport with a Masters and US Open, as well as four other events across the US each year. More than 100 professionals compete in these minigolf competitions.

The main goal? To sink a hole-in-one. (Duh.)

But, like golf, pro minigolf also has birdiespars and bogeys. Therefore, betting on minigolf in Massachusetts would be much the same as golf betting. However, the major difference would be wagers on how many holes-in-one a player will make, how many holes-in-one all players make, how many holes-in-one will be made on certain holes, etc.

ALSO READ: Best Promos To Get Started Betting In Massachusetts

Magic City Jai-Alai

US Integrity is petitioning the MGC to allow betting on Magic City Jai-Alai in Massachusetts.

Wagers would involve Battle Court, a professional jai-alai league in Miami that focuses on team head-to-head play.

Jai-alai is a fast-paced, highly entertaining sport that roughly resembles racketball. The ball is served against one of three walls, and the opposing player (or, in the case of doubles, one of the opposing players) must catch the ball before it bounces twice.

Jai-alai betting in Massachusetts, from playma.com
Chris Bueno returns a ball in a Jai Alai match at the Magic City Casino fronton, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7

Photo by AP Photo/Winslow Townson
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain is currently the Content Manager at Catena Media’s national online lottery site, PlayiLottery. He used to be the News Content Manager at Catena Media, overseeing news content for the network’s highest-priority regional sites. Massachusetts is a young, promising gambling market, so PlayMA was one of his focuses. Prior to joining Catena Media in 2022, Matthew won 10 statewide and national journalism awards during six years as a reporter and editor for the USA TODAY Network. Matthew's work primarily appeared in the Des Moines Register, but he was also featured in the Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA TODAY. Throughout his career, Matthew's bylines have also appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times, and Orange County Register.

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