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.
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, 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.
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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.
World Putting League
Have you heard of the US Pro Minigolf Association? You have now.
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 birdies, pars 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.
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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.
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