We’re hearing whispers that a citizen’s petition could be in the works for May’s special town meeting to ensure that Wellesley can exploit the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts, as recently proposed by the state’s leader. Given Wellesley’s thriving church bingo and school casino night fundraising culture, sports wagering in town would hardly be a stretch.
One of the top sports betting attractions will no doubt be Wellesley College’s annual springtime hoop rolling contest, which dates back to the late 1800s. Seniors, in their graduation gowns, scramble down Tupela Lane for 1/8 of a mile while rolling wooden hoops. Some of the hoops are handed down over generations, others are newly crafted and decorated. The winner gets tossed into Lake Waban.
The betting sharps will have a field day at this event, which some of the more serious competitors camp out for so that they can get a spot at the front of the field. Is it more likely that a chemistry, economics or French major will win? Is the smart money on student-athletes? What if the terrain is slick from rainy April conditions?
The annual Wellesley High-Needham High Thanksgiving Day football matchup and Powderpuff game should also get bettors revved up. Add road races held in Wellesley or that pass through it, and odds are that gamblers will get into the mix.
Youth sports could be an attraction, too, with high rollers backing those ubiquitous coaches who offer instructional services on the side.
And let’s not forgot events involving our senior citizens. Pool at the senior center and pickleball matches at the Rec Center are ripe for some action.
Whose to say what’s really a sport either? We could see a betting line taking shape on the over-under for items given and taken at the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility’s reusables area, too.
To learn more about the campaign, visit the organizers’ website.