The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is set to hammer out details of college futures bets, including wagers placed on teams that haven’t yet qualified for the NCAA Tournament and individual futures on college athletes winning awards.
That’s according to the revised agenda for the MGC’s Feb. 14 public meeting, which it released Monday.
Specifically, the MGC commissioners will discuss:
” … offerings for awards given to individual collegiate athletes, future bets on Massachusetts collegiate teams that have not yet qualified for a tournament, wagers on Massachusetts collegiate teams if the outcome of an event is decided via regular season results only, and associated issues related to the scope of permissible wagers.”
Massachusetts does not allow betting on in-state college teams, unless those teams are part of a tournament with more than four teams. That includes all end-of-season NCAA Tournaments, such as March Madness for college basketball.
However, there’s still some vagueness when it comes to college futures bets in Massachusetts.
For instance, if a Boston College basketball player has a great season, are MA residents allowed to place a futures bet on him or her for Player of the Year? Or, if it looks like Harvard is on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, can residents place a futures bet on Harvard before it’s clinched a spot in March Madness?
The second-to-last topic on the agenda — “wagers on Massachusetts collegiate teams if the outcome of an event is decided via regular season results only” — would seem to indicate bets on how a team performs in the regular season as a whole, such as conference ranking or number of wins.
College Betting Already an Issue in MA
This MGC discussion comes in the wake of two Massachusetts casinos accepting illegal wagers on in-state college teams within the first week of retail sports betting being legal.
Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park Casino both self-reported incidents where their sportsbooks accepted bets for Boston College women’s basketball and Merrimack men’s basketball games, respectively, for a matter of a few hours.
The MGC is set to further discuss ramifications for those wagers in the Feb. 14 meeting, as well.