You can bet on more than 60 sports in Massachusetts, and with mobile sports betting in place, it’s as simple as taking your phone out of your pocket and tapping a few buttons.
The Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog lists every approved sporting event for betting from Australian rules football to water polo. But there are specific rules regarding bets on certain competitions. These might be confusing to Massachusetts sports bettors.
When it comes to sports betting apps in Massachusetts, the Olympic Games and X Games are examples of events that have both allowed and prohibited events.
Judged competitions are prohibited
Yes, you can place wagers on the Olympic Games and X Games in Massachusetts.
But that’s limited to events that do not involve judging.
That means you won’t be allowed to wager on figure skating, individual and team gymnastics, diving, or freestyle skateboarding. Any activity that requires judges to determine scores and the winner is forbidden under Massachusetts gaming law.
But why are these sports not allowed for sports betting in the commonwealth? The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has determined that such events rely too much on the subjective opinions of judges. While it isn’t necessarily that the regulators feel those sports are unreliable, there is a sense that corruption is not out of the realm of possibility.
Many other states, including New York and New Jersey, prohibit betting on sports that have judges.
Not all X Games events involve judging, but some of them, such as the popular skateboarding events and sky surfing, are reliant on scores determined by judges. Those events are off limits and Massachusetts sportsbooks will not have odds for them.
Olympic Sports you can bet on in Massachusetts
The Summer Olympics return in 2024 in Paris. In 2026, the Winter Olympics will be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Those international events gather thousands of the greatest athletes from across the world. Dozens of nations compete for medals in the Olympic tradition.
When the games begin, you will be able to bet on most Olympic events in Massachusetts, including:
- Track and field
- Swimming races and relays
- Table tennis
- Many more
Winter Olympic sports that draw the most attention from bettors include:
- Ice hockey
- Alpine skiing
- Speed skating
- Cross-country skiing
The Winter Olympics attract fewer countries and athletes, but ice hockey is tremendously popular, especially in regions like the northeast and North America, where many hockey fans are attracted to the nationalist pride of the sport.
X Games betting in Massachusetts
The X Games continue to grow in popularity. For many young people in the US, the X Games are the most attractive international competition. Like the Olympics, the X Games have a summer and winter competition.
Like with the Olympics, any sporting events at the X Games that requires judging are prohibited from being bet on in Massachusetts. Noteworthy events fitting this criteria are skateboard judging events with tricks, and freestyle snowboarding.
Other events, like biking and motocross racing, are allowed.
Avoid offshore sportsbooks
If a sportsbook offers odds on judged competitions in the Olympics and X Games, you should not register nor place bets on the activity. Most likely it is an offshore sports betting operator, which exists outside the regulatory sphere of Massachusetts. You can be in danger of being defrauded and losing your money if you bet with illegal sportsbooks.
In addition, you cannot wager on NCAA gymnastics competitions, because the outcome is determined by a panel of judges. So if you see a platform offering odds on college gymnastics, be sure to steer clear of it.
Massachusetts gaming law requires an event to be listed in its Sports Wagering Catalog in order to be eligible for odds from sportsbooks.
Common sports like football, baseball, basketball and hockey all appear in Massachusetts sportsbooks. You’ll also find more unfamiliar sports like pesäpallo, floorball, futsal and snooker, to name a few others.