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No Novelty Super Bowl Props for Massachusetts Sports Betting

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Feb 7, 2024 · 11:43 AM PST

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Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; A general view of the NFL shield logo on the field before Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will not allow novelty prop bets on Sunday’s Super Bowl
  • The commissioners determined the prop bets were not part of the existing sports betting events catalogue
  • A motion to allow them for the Super Bowl was not approved

If you live in Massachusetts and want to bet on the coin toss for Super Bowl LVIII you’re better off just driving into New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission determined today that novelty prop bets on Sunday’s big game are not part of the state’s approved sports wagering catalogue.

A motion to allow bets on the coin toss result, coin toss winner, and coin toss winner to win the Super Bowl was not approved.

No Novelty Props For Super Bowl

Commissioners Eileen O’Brien, Nakisha Skinner, and Cathy Judd-Stein voted against the motion while Commissioners Brad Hill and Jordan Maynard voted in favor.

The commissioners continued their discussion on the novelty prop bets after FanDuel reached out last week asking for clarification on a number of bets and if they were allowed in the commonwealth. FanDuel asked for clarifying information on the following wagers:

  • Coin toss result
  • Coin toss winner
  • Team to receive opening kickoff
  • Coin toss winner wins game
  • To win coin toss and win game
  • Coin toss to be re-taken
  • Coin toss call result
  • Gatorade color over coach
  • National Anthem length

The sports betting operator did not officially present a petition to the MGC to add the events to the catalogue, but just wanted clarification if they currently were available.

After about an hour of discussion the commissioners unanimously voted to clarify that the novelty props were not part of the present day sports event catalogue in the commonwealth.

Hill then motioned to add the coin toss result, coin toss winner, and team to receive the opening kickoff to the events catalogue. O’Brien expressed discomfort at the idea of commissioners adding events to the state’s sports betting catalogue when they were not officially petitioned to do so by sports betting operators.

“We don’t have a petition in front of us to allow these events,” she said.

O’Brien also pointed out that FanDuel had months to clarify this point with the commissioners. FanDuel has been licensed in the state for the last year and chose to ask this question a week before the Super Bowl.

Maybe Next Year

FanDuel told the legal division of the MGC that it was comfortable waiting until next year to petition for the props to be added if they were not already valid. The commissioners agreed this was the best course of action instead of adding the events themselves before the weekend.

Both Skinner and O’Brien expressed their concerns over the commissioners adding events to the catalogue without a formal petition from a licensed sports betting operators, while Hill and Maynard were more comfortable putting it up to a vote for the commission to decide. Judd-Stein said she was uncomfortable with the idea now, but needed to hear more information on this from the legal division before deciding to allow it in the future.

“I’m troubled by the suggestion that some are willing to forgo these rules on a whim. No disrespect to you, Commissioner Hill. This has an element of bypassing the rules that we’ve so carefully laid out for the industry,” Skinner said.

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