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Ahead of Super Bowl, Mass. Gaming Commission sets guidelines for sports betting

Gamblers place bets in the temporary sports-betting area at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia on Dec. 13, 2018.
Matt Rourke
Gamblers place bets in the temporary sports-betting area at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia on Dec. 13, 2018.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission met this week to clarify what kinds of wagering will be allowed for this weekend's Super Bowl. This will be the first for online bets in the state.

At issue was if the big game was different from other NFL games in allowing prop wagers, these are bets focusing on things besides the final outcome of the game.

Andrew Steffen, operations manager for the Commission's sport wagering division, described some of the prop wagers available to online users.

"Length of longest drive and yards. Time of first possession in minutes. Will there be an onside kick? Will the opening kickoff be a touchback? Will there be an overtime? Will there be a safety? And I could go on and on and we could be here all day listing all the types of prop bets available," he said.

Commissioners voted not to authorize bets on the coin toss, the Gatorade color or length of the national anthem.

It's been a little over a year since the state's three casinos began taking bets on sporting events. This comes after state lawmakers approved legislation last summer.

While sports betting launched in time for last year's Super Bowl, online sports betting did not begin until March.

NEPM reporter Adam Frenier contributed to this report.

Kari Njiiri is a senior reporter and longtime host and producer of "Jazz Safari," a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on NEPM Radio. He's also the local host of NPR’s "All Things Considered."

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