Massachusetts Rejects Request To Add Slap Fighting To Wagering Catalog

Written By Dan Holmes on May 9, 2023
Slap fight betting will not be permitted in Massachusetts, from

In a public meeting on Monday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission rejected a request to add six sporting events to the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Catalog.

Commissioners were torn on adding several US sports to the catalog at the request of US Integrity, but they all aligned on not allowing slap fight betting in the Commonwealth.

Online sports betting in Massachusetts is legal, but Bay Staters will not be able to place wagers on any sort of slap fighting events.

No slap fight betting allowed

Power Slap, which has matches licensed by the Nevada Gaming License division, was voted down 5-0, meaning the sport would not be added to the catalog. The same fate was afforded SlapFIGHT, another event considered.

Commissioner Eileen O’Brien called it “appalling” that Power Slap and SlapFight would be on the list of sporting events being considered for the SWC.

“With all the concerns over head injuries, I am not comfortable with (this sport) being added in the Commonwealth,” O’Brien said.

Commissioners Brad Hill, Nakisha Skinner and Jordan Maynard added similar sentiments.

“I am worried about what’s in the catalog and what’s best for the consumers in this Commonwealth,” O’Brien said. “I find it disappointing that the petitioner (submitted) a request for these events.”

Slap fighting and power slap are sports in which competitors slap an opponent with the palm of their open hand as hard as they can. The winner is determined by which competitor can take the most slaps before asking out of the match.

The Massachusetts SWC does allow betting on football, boxing, UFC and MMA, sports that also involve violent activity and potential for head injury, based on past history.

Other sports considered

By a vote of 3-2, NRX motocross (Nitro Rallycross) was passed. That means the sport was added as an eligible sport in the SWC. However, one commissioner, Skinner, later asked to reconsider the motion. In that vote, the petition failed, by a 2-2 vote with one abstention (by Skinner).

Magic City Jai Alai failed to come to a vote, and received non-support during comments from commissioners.

“This sport has come before us as one that has integrity issues,” Hill said. “I question the integrity of this sport. In all the training we received (to identify sports with issues for gambling), this particular sport was highlighted.”

Also under consideration was US Pro Mini Golf, which according to US Integrity, DraftKings Sportsbook does take wagers on in other jurisdictions. US Integrity provides security in monitoring the sporting activity for USPMGA (the US Pro Mini Golf Association). That measure failed by a 2-2 vote with an abstention from Skinner.

Also, the MGC voted down the request to add a Street League Skateboarding tournament. According to US Integrity, DraftKings has said it would offer odds on the SSL, which is slated for a tournament in Chicago in October. The winners of this event are determined by a panel of judges. Regulations in Massachusetts do not permit judged events to be offered in the wagering catalog.

Chair Cathy Judd-Stein commented that the MGC may need to look at amending or clarifying rules on permitting judged sporting events in the SWC in the future.

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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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