DraftKings Hopes to Provide Legal Betting for the Boston Marathon

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DraftKings has announced that the company has requested that Massachusetts state regulators allow people to bet on the Boston Marathon legally for the first time.

DraftKings is an American company that allows legal betting on sporting events and wagering on daily and weekly competitive fantasy sports leagues. 

The Boston Marathon will bring roughly 30,000 runners and thousands of spectators along its iconic 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boylston Street on April 17, 2023. 

This year will be the 127th running of the event, which is the oldest annual marathon in the world.

Boston Marathon runners in the race.

Interestingly, despite the proximity of the DraftKings headquarters to the famous finish line of the Boston Marathon—with both being located on either side of Copley Square—betting on the Boston Marathon outcome has not yet been legalized.

The request put together by DraftKings to the state’s Gaming Commission to make the Boston Marathon a permissible event for monetary wagering noted that although the event will have about 70 professional runners in this year’s race, DraftKings will only allow a subset of the elite field open for wagering.

According to the report, DraftKings is requesting to only be “offering the top 20 men and women professional winners and men and women winning time (over/under) for wagering.”

DraftKings said that if granted permission, people would be able to make wagers on outrights or futures, which means that a bet can be made on whether an athlete wins the race or how they place in the results (outcome) of the race.

Although the request is currently being discussed with Massachusetts state commissioners, DraftKings has indicated that the company intends to make the same request in every state in which it currently operates.

A spokesperson from DraftKings said that the Boston Marathon is already approved for wagering in Kansas, Oregon, and Wyoming. However, the odds for the Boston Marathon wagers are not yet posted in these states.

If approved, the results will be determined and verified based on the official Boston Marathon results as reported on the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) website.

The catalog of sporting events already approved by the state commission already includes other forms of racing, such as swimming and motorsports. 

Furthermore, there is wagering approval in the catalog for a broad category termed “summer athletics.” 

This category covers betting at the Commonwealth Games, which also includes a marathon. 

However, there is no specific approval for B.A.A. events, such as the Boston Marathon, nor is there any existing authorization specific to road racing or running.

boston marathon runners in the rain during the race.

The Gaming Commission is expected to hear more about the request to allow for the inclusion of the Boston Marathon to the catalog of sporting events approved for betting in Massachusetts on Thursday, April 6, 2023.

Reportedly, there are other requests from U.S. Integrity slated for Thursday’s meeting agenda with the state’s Gaming Commission.

The U.S. Integrity is a firm that partners with betting companies (like DraftKings) to monitor for fraud, match-fixing, and unusual wagering and betting activity. 

The request is that the Gaming Commission approves additional events and leagues for betting, including Nitro Rallycross, US Pro Minigolf Association, Power Slap, Street League Skateboarding, Slapfight Championship, and Magic City Jai-Alai.

Examples of sports leagues currently approved for legal betting through DraftKings include five major American sports (the MLB, the NHL, the NFL, the NBA, and the PGA), as well as NASCAR auto racing, Canadian Football League, mixed martial arts (MMA), the WWE, among others.

You can read more about the Massachusetts Gaming Commission here.

More information on the professional field in the 127th Boston Marathon can be found here

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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