Regulators deny request to allow betting on Boston Marathon
Massachusetts gambling regulators on Thursday denied a request to allow legal betting on this year's Boston Marathon, citing concerns by the race's organizers.
All four members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission who participated in the online meeting voted against the request by DraftKings.
Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein shared an email she received Wednesday from the Boston Athletic Association, which runs the marathon.
“At this moment, there is not sufficient 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," said Scott Stover, chief marketing officer for the BAA.
He added: “Until we can complete due diligence, our concerns include, but are not limited to, ensuring event security and potential influence on the outcome of the race.”
The commissioners also discussed the proximity of the marathon, scheduled for April 17, and what they saw as DraftKings’ lack of communication with the BAA.
“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, and for that reason I also respect that they don’t think they can work out any issues in 12 days, and that seems reasonable,” Commissioner Jordan Maynard said.
Commissoner Brad Hill called the proposal “not ready for prime time.”
Although the Boston Marathon attracts about 30,000 runners, the DraftKings proposal would have allowed bets to be placed only on the elite women's and men's runners.
“We respect the decision made by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and look forward to our continued work with them," DraftKings said in a statement.
The state last month started allowing online sports wagering on pro sports and some college sports. The online rollout came about a month after in-person sports betting started at the state’s three casinos.
The BAA in a statement did not directly address the commission's decision.
“With 11 days to go until the 127th Boston Marathon, our focus remains on creating the best event experience for our participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members," the statement said. “We’ll have no further comment at this time."