- The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the state’s upcoming retail sports betting catalogue
- Bets on drafts and awards shows will be allowed
- Winter and summer Olympic betting prohibited for now
The Massachusetts sports betting catalogue for retail wagering has been unanimously approved for the upcoming Jan. 31 launch, and for anyone in the Commonwealth hoping to place a bet on this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, well we’ve got some great news for you.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) unanimously approved a robust list of events that it will accept bets on for the upcoming Jan. 31 retail sports betting launch. After several meetings, and hours of discussion, the commissioners finally agreed to include bets on award shows, voted league awards (such as MVP or Cy Young), and bets on league drafts in the upcoming catalogue.
The MGC will approve the online sports betting catalogue next month before its launch in early March.
Extensive Catalogue of Approved Events
The MGC approved a list of events that will be included for the commonwealth’s Jan. 31 retail sports betting launch. The major leagues and sports are all included, such as the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS, but the entire list of approved events was nearly four pages long and includes such sports as pesapallo, futsal, floorball, handball, and many others.
Each of the approved sports and leagues were specifically requested by the licensed operators in the commonwealth.
Here is the full list of approved events:
— RLinnehanXL (@RLinnehanXl) January 24, 2023
In addition, the MGC voted to approve bets on award shows, such as the upcoming Academy Awards in March, and bets on league drafts. It also will allow bets on league awards that are voted on by the media, such as the NFL MVP, the MLB Cy Young, and the Super Bowl MVP.
Competitive eating events, such as the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, were also approved.
Commissioner Eileen O’Brien voiced her displeasure on the allowance of betting on league awards that were determined by a vote and the allowance of bets on award shows, as they were not classified as “sporting events.”
A vote was taken on the prohibition of such events. O’Brien was the lone commissioner to vote in favor of the motion, as MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein and Commissioners Brad Hill and Jordan Maynard voted against the motion. Commissioner Nakisha Skinner abstained.
Prohibited Events for Massachusetts Retail Sports Betting
The MGC did carve out several events from the approved retail sports betting catalogue. They are as follows:
- Winter Olympics
- Summer Olympics
- Jai Alai
All of these prohibited events will likely be revisited and potentially restored in February meetings. The commissioners struggled with allowing the Winter and Summer Olympics in the approved catalogue, as so many of the events in the games are decided by subjective judges.
Sterl Carpenter, regulatory compliance manager of the MGC, said it was his department’s suggestion to not include chess and cornhole in the approved events, as both have had recent integrity issues regarding outcomes of matches.
Jai alia was removed from the approved sports because of a pre-existing partnership with a online sports betting operator.
“Jai Alai and Magic City also have an exclusive deal in North America with BetRivers, and that’s why it was removed,” Carpenter said.
The MGC has also prohibited bets on eSports, as it shared concerns over the league’s governing body.
The MGC did also choose to vote on prohibiting bets on any events taking place in Russia or Belarus, due to the ongoing war with Ukraine.