While MLB waited a year to react to the “sticky stuff” issue, when they see dollar signs, it’s taken only a nanosecond to open live gambling.
In conjunction with Draftkings, MLB will soon offer an App that will allow fans to place “live bets” on games they are watching or following on their phone.
Per the norm, MLB is still working on the fine print, but this is what we know, according to gamingtoday.com.
- Bettors will be required to download and exclusively use an App provided by Draftkings.
- Users must then open up an account through Draftkings with a credit card, designating an opening balance of their choice. If necessary, the account gets replenished as needed, similar to an EZPass account.
- Using the App, bettors will get live updates on their bets.
- MLB will collaborate and include content from DraftKings betting experts in future MLB.TV products.
- Fans will need to have active accounts with MLB.com and DraftKings to access the “Bet & Watch” feature on selected games. Author’s Note: Interestingly, it’s not called Watch and Bet.
MLB: Here’s What We Don’t Know
- It’s unclear how DraftKings customers will be able to bet on the live game as they watch it or whether they will be offered specials or parlays live betting odds only available to “Bet & Watch” users.
- With only fourteen states authorizing Draftkings for sports betting, will other states be pressured by fans to “legalize” Draftkings?
MLB And The Slippery Slope
In early June, I wrote a piece on the marriage of MLB with Bally Sports, an article that emphasized the introduction of Bally’s parent company Sinclair’s takeover of 19 Fox regional sports networks.
Viewers of broadcasted games on these networks are now familiar with the large “B” in the right corner of their screen, as well as continuous blurbs from Ballys about this and that in the lower right portion of the screen.
MLB And Gambling: Good And Bad
I’m purposively keeping this lighthearted, but clearly, there’s an undercurrent of ethics attached to these changes.
While gambling has been around since the Biblical days of Jesus in the Temple, it has moved into the forefront of everyday American culture in recent years.
Safe to say, gambling is here to stay.
At the same time, however, those who gamble are often the ones who shouldn’t be, attaching themselves to the dream while whittling away what money they have.
It’s anyone’s right to do so, but the temptation, when it’s made so easy by MLB, is or should be a matter of concern.
What’s To Gain…
As with any business, the idea is to increase revenue that can turn into profits or a way to reinvest and improve.
MLB sees a way of doing that to its credit, and the $10 billion it generates per year is likely to grow even more, as profits are dispersed between Draftkings and MLB from this new venture.
Additionally, some gamblers are not necessarily fans of baseball who will be drawn into MLB, just as they are entwined with the NFL.
It’s a dangerous and slippery slope for MLB. It means adding yet another layer to their security and IT services that ensure players and any other persons connected to a team don’t get involved in any way, shape, or manner.
MLB And Live Gambling: Final Thoughts
Some changes can’t be stopped, and they come about through natural evolution over time.
For baseball, this is one of them.
MLB has a long history of “putting stuff out there” – as in the case of the recent Sticky Stuff thing – and then leaving it to others to “make it happen.”
This is different, though, because it involves laws on the books in various states, which, if violated, means possible prison time for offenders.
Suits against MLB, in a situation where a person registers with them and Draftkings as a citizen from Texas (where betting is not authorized), registers himself as a citizen from Pennsylvania, where it is legal, are likely to occur.
Who’s gonna know – until it is known – and suddenly the legal departments at MLB at Draftkings are forced into action – and the profits reaped teeter on edge as a liability.
Gambling and MLB are married, and as with any couple, we can only wish them well.
Still, let’s keep an eye on things for a while…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Sher Heide Shocking
David Paseornek So gambling on sports (legally) depends on state laws. The following states as of today are the only one’s draft kings and other sports gambling sites can be done with: