Why You Can Bet On Some Olympics, X Games Events In MA, But Not Others

Written By Dan Holmes on March 24, 2023Last Updated on April 18, 2023
Some X Games, Olympic events are not allowed to be bet on in Massachusetts, from play-ma.com

You can bet on more than 60 sports in Massachusetts, and with mobile sports betting in place, it’s as simple as taking your phone out of your pocket and tapping a few buttons.

The Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog lists every approved sporting event for betting from Australian rules football to water polo. But there are specific rules regarding bets on certain competitions. These might be confusing to Massachusetts sports bettors.

When it comes to sports betting in Massachusetts, the Olympic Games and X Games are examples of events that have both allowed and prohibited events.

Judged competitions are prohibited

Yes, you can place wagers on the Olympic Games and X Games in Massachusetts.

But that’s limited to events that do not involve judging.

That means you won’t be allowed to wager on figure skating, individual and team gymnastics, diving, or freestyle skateboarding. Any activity that requires judges to determine scores and the winner is forbidden under Massachusetts gaming law.

But why are these sports not allowed for sports betting in the commonwealth? The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has determined that such events rely too much on the subjective opinions of judges. While it isn’t necessarily that the regulators feel those sports are unreliable, there is a sense that corruption is not out of the realm of possibility.

Many other states, including New York and New Jersey, prohibit betting on sports that have judges.

Not all X Games events involve judging, but some of them, such as the popular skateboarding events and sky surfing, are reliant on scores determined by judges. Those events are off limits and Massachusetts sportsbooks will not have odds for them.

Olympic Sports you can bet on in Massachusetts

The Summer Olympics return in 2024 in Paris. In 2026, the Winter Olympics will be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Those international events gather thousands of the greatest athletes from across the world. Dozens of nations compete for medals in the Olympic tradition.

When the games begin, you will be able to bet on most Olympic events in Massachusetts, including:

  • Track and field
  • Basketball
  • Swimming races and relays
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Handball
  • Golf
  • Table tennis
  • Cycling
  • Fencing
  • Many more

Winter Olympic sports that draw the most attention from bettors include:

  • Ice hockey
  • Alpine skiing
  • Speed skating
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Curling
  • Luge
  • Bobsleigh

The Winter Olympics attract fewer countries and athletes, but ice hockey is tremendously popular, especially in regions like the northeast and North America, where many hockey fans are attracted to the nationalist pride of the sport.

RELATED: You Can Bet On These 69 Sports In Massachusetts

X Games betting in Massachusetts

The X Games continue to grow in popularity. For many young people in the US, the X Games are the most attractive international competition. Like the Olympics, the X Games have a summer and winter competition.

Like with the Olympics, any sporting events at the X Games that requires judging are prohibited from being bet on in Massachusetts. Noteworthy events fitting this criteria are skateboard judging events with tricks, and freestyle snowboarding.

Other events, like biking and motocross racing, are allowed.

Avoid offshore sportsbooks

If a sportsbook offers odds on judged competitions in the Olympics and X Games, you should not register nor place bets on the activity. Most likely it is an offshore sports betting operator, which exists outside the regulatory sphere of Massachusetts. You can be in danger of being defrauded and losing your money if you bet with illegal sportsbooks.

In addition, you cannot wager on NCAA gymnastics competitions, because the outcome is determined by a panel of judges. So if you see a platform offering odds on college gymnastics, be sure to steer clear of it.

Massachusetts gaming law requires an event to be listed in its Sports Wagering Catalog in order to be eligible for odds from sportsbooks.

Common sports like football, baseball, basketball and hockey all appear in Massachusetts sportsbooks. You’ll also find more unfamiliar sports like pesäpallo, floorball, futsal and snooker, to name a few others.

RELATED: What Is Netball? You Can Bet On The Sport In Massachusetts

If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a Staff Writer for Play MA with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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