MLB is always seeking ways to increase revenue. But the posting of real-time odds on their scoreboard is new, reprehensible, and sinful.
Major League Baseball (MLB) has been licking its chops as they see NFL games played under a shield of fan interest that supersedes the action on the field with millions of dollars trading hands, based on a multitude of combinations that exhaust the mind.
Until recently, MLB has refrained from allowing, though the real word is investing in fans and the general population of America’s interest and willingness to gamble, whether in State Lotteries, scratch-offs, or the local neighborhood bookie.
MLB Opens The Door
Since MLB opened the door with its soft okay to sports betting, recalling its similar turning of the other cheek to the steroid era, teams have been quick to see the possibility of easy money coming their way.
From a website aptly named bookies.com, we learn that BetMGM in January announced a multi-year partnership with the Washington Nationals to be their official sports betting partner.
“The Nationals are thrilled to expand our strong partnership with MGM Resorts into the sports betting realm,” Alan Gottlieb, chief operating officer of Lerner Sports Group, owners of the Nationals, said in the release.
The storm continued when MGM Resorts announced itself as an Official Gaming Partner of Major League Baseball. In July, PointsBet became the first operator to reach a deal with an MLB team, the Detroit Tigers.
Since then, other teams have followed in establishing partnerships with various betting outlets, with many teams providing space in their ballpark, where for example:
According to the news release, the BetMGM sportsbook will be located where Center Field Social (across Center Field Plaza from the Nationals Team Store) resides. It will give patrons a stadium view and sports betting experience that complements MGM National Harbor Dugout Club, a sports box located adjacent to the team’s dugout.
But today, I caught a glimpse of the future surfing the internet looking for live score updates, and I wish I could give you a screenshot of what I saw, and though I’ll keep looking, trust me for now.
MLB Slams It In Our Face
So, we’re used to seeing the stream of scores at the bottom of the MLBN screen, complete with batting and pitching highlights. But today, before they switched to another game, odds are posted indicating which team is likely to win the game – in real-time.
The inference being, there’s still time to get your bets in, and with the modern conveniences of technology, you need only type in a couple of clicks, and voila, you’re in.
The cut MLB receives from this action is and will always be a closeted secret, but make no mistake, as Dire Straits said in a different arena – “It’s Money For Nothing, Money For Free.”
Look, I’m not stupid, and neither are fans of MLB. I don’t gamble on sports, but I do spend hard-earned money on New York Lotteries. Mostly, I lose because I still won’t give into the “you can’t win if you don’t play” that grips almost everyone.
I just don’t need it in my face, as I saw today with real-time odds posted with scores as an invitation to tap into my credit card.
MLB Betting: What’s Next?
Where this leads is anyone’s guess as MLB flies with this thing under the radar.
We can envision kiosks in ballparks across America where a fan can place a bet on that day’s game, buy a beer and a hot dog before finding his seat, with something more on the line than simply enjoying an MLB game.
If this is like a high school diploma having no meaning without a college diploma in our culture today, then okay, I give in.
But in a sport like baseball, commanded largely by MLB and its spirited desire to expand its fan base, and especially with younger fans who have drifted away, then I have to wonder if this is the way to go…
I’ll leave you with this thought. With MLB’s marriage to sports betting, when will it be time to release Pete Rose for election consideration to the Baseball Hall Of Fame?
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Bill Clark And they won’t put Pete Rose in the hof.
Victor Parlati Disgusting..the greed just keeps getting worse.
Donna Bucca Grywalski The promotion of gambling in all sports is upsetting. I don’t see the need to encourage it. Those who wish to bet have that right they don’t need to shove it in our faces continuously.
John Kiely If they are going to promote gambling then let Pete Rose in the HOF.
Robert Whalen In 1920 a court could not find enough evidence to prove that the “unholy 8” which include “shoeless” Joe Jackson accepted bribes and threw the 1919 world series. So the first commissioner decided to kick all 8 out of baseball anyway for “associating with gamblers”. Fast forward 100 years……
Brett J. Patron I’m very much disgusted with the sports betting stuff. Another reason I’ve pretty much sworn off EPSN and FoxSports
Jay LeBlanc Ahh, the great Christian game of baseball. “Mom, grandpa’s on the porch yelling at squirrels again!”
Joe Gutfeld They are promoting this but they banned Pete Rose for gambling
Daniel Jackett Points Bet is the Tigers’ official partner… Their games are on Bally Sports, FanDuel shows a prop bet on the Tigers pre-game show, and during the commercial breaks, you’re bombarded with ads from Draft Kings and BetMGM
Steve Bergon I agree.. this entire gambling crap that is advertised on sports TV and radio is horrible
Steven Webster While we are at it Craig Carton on the fan is annoying AF too. Bet he wouldn’t be getting another chance if he had defrauded the station
GK Arnaud How the Hell can Major League Baseball still keep Peter Rose out of the Hall of Fame and then do THIS?!
Martin Machover Excellent point. Of course, betting on games in which you can make a difference is different from accepting sports betting as a thing for non-participants, and which is legal in many of the states in which the teams play, but it would probably be good PR to revisit the Rose verdict.
Kevin Andrzejewski I don’t see what the issue is. I actually enjoy seeing the spreads/money lines, I think it’s interesting and adds a new dynamic to the game. There is a real market for sports betting, there has been for years. Feeding into this market helps to generate more interest in the game.
Daniel Jackett Kevin Andrzejewski to each their own then. I hope when Bally Sports starts the interactive betting, that it’s not the default screen, and if so there’s an opt-out.