Boston Marathon gambling proposal denied by Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Boston Marathon gambling proposal denied by Massachusetts Gaming Commission

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reportedly rejected a proposal from the sports betting company DraftKings requesting that in-state residents be allowed to place bets on the outcome of the 2023 Boston Marathon. The report from noted that the gaming commission turned down the DraftKings request after the Boston Athletics Association (BAA) specifically asked that it be denied. The commission unanimously voted against the proposal.

boston marathon gambling
American CJ Albertson grabs water at the 126th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2022. Photo: Kevin Morris

Scott Stoverthe chief marketing officer of the BAA, sent a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, requesting the commission deny the proposal due to a lack of time to prepare.

“At this moment, there is not enough time for the Boston Athletic Association, nor 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,” reads the letter, which was presented to the gaming commission on Thursday morning.

Stover continued, noting that “the Boston Marathon is a trademarked and protected name, and the Boston Athletic Association has not granted permission for DraftKings to use their trademark in relation to this proposal.” In the proposal, DraftKings was asked to allow for wagers on the outright winners, the top 20 professional men and women, as well as an over/under on the winning times.

Sports betting and single-game wagers have been legal in Canada and some American states for the past couple of years, but races have usually opted out from gambling sites in both countries.

There will be many eyes on the 127th Boston Marathon on April 17, as this year’s race has attracted big names, including marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and his fellow Kenyan (and two-time Olympic medalist) Helen Obiri. If the proposal had gone through, the public would have been allowed to place wagers on many possible outcomes, including whether Kipchoge would win his fifth Abbott World Marathon Major.

In recent years, sports betting has had a boom in popularity in the US and Canada, increasing viewership across many sports. Adding events like the Boston Marathon and other races to mainstream betting outlets could have a positive impact on the sport’s marketability and can increase athlete earnings and broadcast revenue. The door is open for the race to ponder sports betting on the 2024 race.

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