MA sports betting regulators unanimously decided Thursday against allowing betting on the Boston Marathon.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-0 to deny a DraftKings proposal to add the race to the Massachusetts sports betting catalog. Their biggest concern is that the race is in 11 days, leaving little time for the organization that runs the race to adopt the changes, commissioners said.
“There are few greater events than the Boston Marathon, and it’s nationally known, but in the Commonwealth, it’s very local, and it underpins a local holiday,” Commissioner Jordan Maynard said.
“I’m going to respect this local organization’s request to be included in the process that could potentially ever allow wagering on their event. I also respect that they don’t think they can work out any issues in 12 days, and that seems reasonable, It’s not going to happen.”
MA sports betting regulators hear race organizer concerns
In response to a DraftKings request, Scott Stover, the Boston Athletic Association‘s chief marketing officer, expressed concern about the lack of time to ensure proper protocols are in place.
“At this moment, there is not sufficient time for the Boston Athletic Association, not its many partners and agencies, to coordinate and fully ensure proper protocols are in place to support such a proposal for wagering on our event,” Stover said in an email to the MGC. “Without time to undergo analysis and proper due diligence, we are concerned about how such an expedited approval would potentially impact the event.”
More time would allow the BAA to put in place the integrity measures used by other sports to protect the event’s outcome from outside influence, commissioners agreed.
DraftKings should have reached out, commissioner says
Boston-based DraftKings submitted the proposal earlier this week, but did not consult the BAA, according to commissioners. Under the proposal, sportsbooks would have been eligible to take bets on the top 20 men’s and women’s professional winners and their winning times.
“With any request, my expectation would be an operator would reach out to a governing body, the Boston Marathon in particular, given what it means to the city and particularly this year, 10 years out from the tragedy,” said Commission Eileen O’Brien. “I am disappointed to say the least that the operator did not do that.”