Wagering on the Boston Marathon
UPDATE: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted on Thursday to block wagering on the upcoming Boston Marathon, as reported by WCVB 5.
Now that we have legalized sports betting in Massachusetts, the time has come to talk about wagering on the biggest sporting event in all of the Commonwealth: the Boston Marathon.
Every year, this historic event draws about 500,000 spectators from around the world.
Residents of Massachusetts have a flourishing heritage of fan devotedness. Along with that dedication, the Bay State has been betting on everything forever.
Can you believe that gambling legislation goes back to 1719, when the first laws were passed? But not to legalize it. They were passed to prohibit lotteries.
But then, lawmakers began noticing the citizens were betting in big numbers in the streets, supporting the illegal black market. The money going into the bookies' pockets could be used to pay for a growing new nation. They didn't have V-8 back then, but leaders thought again and legalized the first state lottery in 1745, before it was outlawed again in 1833.
Parimutuel betting on all sorts of animals, horses, dogs, etc., began in 1934 until the lawmakers were pressured by advocacy groups to outlaw everything, except for harness racing.
The point here is, why can you bet on the major league and college sports teams, horses and the Super Bowl, but not for a major marathon? We can put money down on sporting events galore, but we can't make a wager on who will win one of the six World Marathon Majors that is ranked among the world's top road racing events? It defies gravity.
DraftKings, the Boston-based sportsbook, has asked the state regulators to allow wagering on the Boston Marathon. I believe wagering on the marathon would garner interesting fan stories, and tales about charity bets and more, not just announcing the men's and women's winners.
Want to bet on it?