When they say sports betting, they mean many sports – Boston News, weather, sports
It’s time to brush up on biathlon, brush up on rugby rules and dive into pro darts – the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this week approved this and dozens of other events as part of the catalog of sports and events adults are allowed to place bets on from next week.
However, the catalog includes more than just sports games. Commissioners approved for wagering on things like pro league drafts, the Super Bowl MVP award, competitive dining events and events like the Academy Awards. And it doesn’t include all the sports that bookmakers have asked to be able to take bets on. The commissioners voted to bar bets on chess, cornhole, sports, jai alai and much of the Olympics for at least the first in-person start next week.
“We have the opportunity to come back [to the list]. We know that we are constantly being asked about various events. This is the dynamic, as has been said, a dynamic list. We are very fortunate that it is robust. I think it competes with the illicit market,” Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said Tuesday as the commission voted 5-0 to approve the catalogue.
List includes Athletics, Australian Rules Football, Badminton, Baseball/Softball, Basketball, Biathlon, Billiards, Bowling, Bocce, Bull Riding/Rodeo, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Darts, Disc, Floorball, Soccer, Futsal, Golf, Handball, Field Hockey , ice hockey, lacrosse, mixed martial arts, racing, netball, pesapallo, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, sailing, snooker, soccer, beach soccer, special events, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and water polo. Each category has specific leagues or governing bodies that are sanctioned for betting.
The catalog was based on a common request Of the three establishments allowed to offer in-person wagering starting Tuesday are Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett. Commission staff reviewed this list and crossed out some of the requested events before submitting them for Commission approval.
Jai Alai was removed from the list because the sanctioned league has a betting exclusivity agreement with a company that does not operate in Massachusetts. Cornhole was kicked out because the pro league in question had a new one fraud scandal. And while there was disagreement among the commissioners, the list does not include Olympic events where the final score is based primarily on a judge’s or jury’s assessment.
Betting companies can apply to the Gambling Commission for additions to the catalogue, and commissioners said this week they would like operators to come back to them with more information on some events, particularly the Olympics, before they approve them. This review could come ahead of the launch of mobile betting in March.
One of the main points of disagreement between the commissioners this week was whether betting on subjective awards like Super Bowl MVP should be allowed. This award is based not just on the outcome of a competition, but on a mix of fan and media voting.
Commissioner Eileen O’Brien was most opposed to allowing bets on “awards not based on statistically measurable performance, including, for example, Emmy Awards and Academy Awards” and the Super Bowl MVP. At one point she requested that the Commission exclude those from the catalogue, but her request failed as only she supported herself.
Commissioner Brad Hill has been vocal about his belief that people should be allowed to bet on the Super Bowl MVP, which Sports Betting Director Bruce Band described as “a very, very, very popular bet during the Super Bowl.” “ referred to.
“Super Bowl MVP is like one of the biggest bets you’re going to see and let’s face it,” Hill said. He added: “If I were a bettor and couldn’t bet on it, I’d fly to New Hampshire where I could. I would take it over to Rhode Island where I could. And I think our citizens deserve the right to bet on this particular bet, on this issue.”
Although the Gambling Commission isn’t affiliated with sports, it has ruled that it can allow bets on something like the Oscars – recognizing achievements in the film industry – because “under the legal definition, there is discretion as to what type of sporting events are,” said Judd-Stein.
the state betting law defines “sporting event” or “sporting event” as “a professional sporting or athletics event, a collegiate sporting or athletics event, a collegiate tournament, an auto racing event, an electronic sporting event, or other event approved by the Commission under this Chapter,” with the exceptions of high school and youth athletic or track and field events and non-tournament collegiate athletic events involving a Massachusetts school.
With the catalog of events available to bet on, the Gambling Commission still has some business to settle before legal betting can begin here next week.
The agenda for Thursday morning’s meeting of the commission includes a discussion of house rules for the three personal operators, who are due to go live next week. No company can accept bets unless their house rules have been approved by the Gambling Commission.
The Betting Act requires the House Rules to “specify the amounts payable on winning bets and the effect of changes in the schedule of sporting events”. The rules must be accessible to all guests and the Gambling Commission has the power to penalize any operator who breaks their house rules.
The House Rules vote may not take place until Friday afternoon. The Gambling Commission plans to meet at 1pm on Friday and its agenda includes an item for a vote on house rules and a vote on approving the operating certificates every licensee needs to take bets.
On Monday, the commission and the three personal operators will conduct a “soft start” of sports betting, much like the commission opened up the state’s casinos and slot machines. A commissioner will visit each of the establishments to observe how they deal with accepting bets from staff and invited guests.
In-person betting is scheduled to open to the public the following day at 10am on Tuesday 31st January.
(Copyright (c) 2022 State House News Service.
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