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New MLB Commissioner Discusses Legalized Sportsbetting


The new Major Baseball League commissioner, Rob Manfred, has said that gambling norms in society have changed and, as such, the league should give “fresh consideration” to the issue of sports betting.  For decades, the MLB has been nothing short of disdainful of the very idea of gambling on sport in general, and on baseball in particular. However, Manfred believes that “gambling in terms of our society has changed its presence on legalization and I think it’s important for there to be a conversation between me and the owners about what our institutional position will be.”

There has been a huge shift to the world of commercials and sponsorship for all US sporting bodies, including the MLB, NHL and MBA, with the MLB even endorsing daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings as the “official mini fantasy game of MLB.com.”

As such, the idea of betting on MLB match should not be discarded without at least giving the topic attention, according to Manfred.

The MLB is not the first authority to call for changes to sportsbetting in the United States. Late last year, National Basketball Association Commissioner, Adam Silver caused ripples when he call for federal legalization of sportsbetting. Last month, Silver reminded the media that the issue was still a hot one by telling an interviewer that all league commissioners were studying the issue carefully.

Rob Manfred has so far been very non-committal on the issue of legal and regulated sportsbetting in the United States, and said in response to Silver’s stance: “I understand the arguments that Adam made and I think the most appropriate thing for me at this point … is to wait until I’ve had a chance to deal with the owners on this topic.”