DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts Now Taking Bets On World Jai-Alai League

Written By C.J. Pierre on November 10, 2023
A picture of a jai-alai match for a story about how Massachusetts will allow betting on World Jai-Alai League matches.

DraftKings Sportsbook often touts its wide variety of betting options. The company offers the most popular sports like football, basketball and soccer. On the other hand, it also allows you to bet on sports like table tennis and cornhole.

However, now Bay State gamblers can wager on jai-alai on DraftKings Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently added some jai-alai matches to the list of approved sports. As a result, bettors can wager on World Jai-Alai League matches as the sport enters the Massachusetts sports betting market.

Massachusetts joins 15 other states offering wagers for World Jai-Alai League matches

The fall 2023 World Jai-Alai League season kicked off in September. It also marks the first season WJAL is available for wagering in Massachusetts.

Magic City Casino executives founded Battle Court in 2022 to revive interest in the sport. The league featured head-to-head action and held games at the Miami casino.

Eventually, those same founders created the WJAL. It served as the governing body for Battle Court, Magic City Pelota, World Super Court and the U.S. National Jai-Alai Championship.

WJAL Chief Operating Officer Scott Savin calls this an excellent opportunity to expose the sport of jai-alai to a new generation of future fans.

“We’re excited that World Jai-Alai League matches will now be available for Massachusetts residents as a part of the Commonwealth’s legal sports betting offerings,” said Savin. “This is a testament to the growing popularity of our sport, and we’re excited to partner with DraftKings to bring the thrill of WJAL action to fans across Massachusetts. The Fall 2023 season has already made a memorable debut, and we can’t wait to see our fans engage in the action like never before. It’s a win-win for all, and we look forward to a fantastic season ahead.”

Earlier this year, the MGC denied an attempt to approve jai-alai betting. US Integrity petitioned the commission to allow Battle Court betting. But commissioners denied the move.

WJAL has seen a surge of interest this year, bringing on notable ambassadors, investors and partners, including NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, three-time NBA champion Udonis Haslem and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Pitbull. WJAL is currently available for wagering in 16 states, including Massachusetts.

What is jai-alai?

Some reading this may be wondering what jai-alai is. Jai-alai is a fast-paced, highly entertaining sport that roughly resembles racketball or squash.

The sport was created in Spain and brought to America in 1924, but it gained popularity during the 1970s and the ’80s after Florida lawmakers legalized gambling on the sport. Interest began to dwindle in the ’90s and almost went extinct in the US at the turn of the century.

However, there has been a revival in recent years thanks to Magic City Casino. Now, ESPN3 streams all WJAL matches.

It is a game played on a court with three walls, called a “fronton.” Players use a “cesta,” a large scoop-like apparatus, to fling the ball at high speeds against the wall. After it bounces, the opponent needs to catch it and make their own throw. The opposing player wins a point if a player misses or lets the ball bounce too much.

This explanation is very bare-bones. If you are interested in betting on the sport, it is recommended that you check it out on YouTube to watch some professional play to get up to speed.

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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at PlayMA. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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