The Boston Marathon will bring thousands of runners and spectators together along its historic 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boylston Street on April 17 for its 127th running, and a sports betting company headquartered just the other side of Copley Square from the finish line is asking state regulators to let people bet on it legally for the first time.
"Due to its traditions, duration, and qualification-based entry system, the Boston Marathon has established itself as the premier event in the sport of road racing. The Boston Marathon was originally a local event, but its fame and status have attracted runners from all over the world," Boston-based DraftKings wrote in a request that the Mass. Gaming Commission is expected to hear more about at its meeting Thursday.
The meeting agenda includes a potential vote on the request to add the Boston Marathon to the catalog of events approved for wagering in Massachusetts.
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DraftKings told the commission in a request to add the marathon as an allowed betting event that while there are about 70 professional field runners in this year's race, it "will only be offering the top 20 men & women professional winners and men & women winning time (over/under) for wagering."
Results would be determined and verified based on the Boston Athletic Association website and DraftKings indicated that it's making the same request in every state in which it operates. The commission's approved events catalog already includes other forms of racing, like swimming and motorsports, and broadly includes "summer athletics" that are part of events like the Commonwealth Games, which includes a marathon.
But there does not appear to be an existing authorization specific to road racing or running, and the catalog does not include the BAA.
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Thursday's meeting agenda also features requests from U.S. Integrity, a firm that partners with betting companies to monitor for fraud, match-fixing and unusual betting activity, that the Gaming Commission approve additional events or leagues for betting: Nitro Rallycross, Power Slap, Slapfight Championship, Street League Skateboarding, US Pro Minigolf Association, and Magic City Jai-Alai.
The agenda also shows that commissioners might go into executive session "to discuss investigatory materials related to the issuance of a sports wagering license necessarily compiled out of the public view by the [Investigations and Enforcement Bureau] the disclosure of which materials would probably so prejudice the possibility of effective law enforcement that such disclosure would not be in the public interest."