Massachusetts regulators smack down slap fight wagering

Hand reaching back to slap
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During Monday’s meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), the commissioners were torn on several sports US Integrity petitioned to add to the state’s wagering catalog, but they were all aligned on one thing: slap fight betting does not belong in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

US Integrity submitted requests for both Dana White’s venture Power Slap and Pro League Networks SlapFIGHT to the commission. The former has no regulatory body or player’s group but is licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is the same group that oversees boxing matches in the state. The latter has a governing body, but that had little impact on the commissioners’ decisions.

Both leagues feature slap fighting, which is as simple as it sounds. Two people take turns slapping one another in the face until one does not recover in the allotted amount of time, then the match is over.

A handful of states like Connecticut, Colorado, and Louisiana do accept wagers on SlapFIGHT, while Wyoming is the only state to offer wagers on Power Slap.

Massachusetts regulators had no interest in joining that group.

“I found the whole power slap thing to be quite disturbing. And I just could not see myself supporting betting on such an event. It’s as clear and cut dry as that,” said Commissioner Bradford Hill.

“I stand where Commissioner Hill does on [Power Slap] and [SlapFIGHT] that, at a time when we’re learning about head injury and impact etcetera, that [they] would even be on this list is appalling to me,” added Commissioner Eileen O’Brien.

“I would say that I see no benefit to the Commonwealth that could outweigh any of the risks and the harms,” said Commissioner Jordan Maynard. “Absolutely no.”

Commissioner Nakisha Skinner and Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein agreed and both leagues were unanimously shot down for inclusion in the catalog.

Others, such as mini golf and pro skateboarding, ended in a stalemate, as some commissioners didn’t want anyone but operators petitioning to add sports to the betting catalog. Skinner abstained, creating a 2-2 deadlock that resulted in denied motions. However, based on the conversation at the meeting, should a licensee in the state bring the sport to the commission, there could be an opportunity for inclusion in the future.

The mini golf offering is another product from Pro League Network, who is trying to fill the rather slow summer sports calendar with interesting alternative sports to augment sportsbook’s offerings. DraftKings has offered lines on SlapFIGHT in some jurisdictions, while others, like Carjitsu, are looking to gain more traction with regulators.