MLB’s agreement with DraftKings, the internet’s portal to sports gambling, should be enough to pardon Pete Rose. Or so you would think…
Major League Baseball (MLB), According to SportsPro, has expanded its agreement with fantasy sports betting platform DraftKings, in a move that sees it become the competition’s authorized gaming operator.
DraftKings “About” page opens with this declaration in 60pt bold-faced type:
“Because life’s more alive
when you have some skin in the game”
According to Legal Sports Report, US sports betting once only happened in Nevada. Now, as legal sports betting has expanded to more states starting in 2018, the amount of sports betting revenue generated in the country has increased dramatically.
MLB smells money. Lots of money. So much money that States are tripping over themselves to legalize sports betting.
New Jersey sports betting is the biggest outside Nevada. That performance is on the merits of its robust online betting presence: about 80% of all handle is generated through sportsbook apps and websites.
Since 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court gave the okay, New Jersey has seen $5,272,419,709 billion wagered. Revenue for the state totals $363,995,543 million.
MLB And The Big Lie
MLB will tell you their marriage with DraftKings is only one of convenience. They’re not really in love with, and they’re certainly not endorsing sports gambling.
Instead, MLB argues it’s trying to control the integrity of baseball by having a say in how DraftKings does business. See, it’s not really sex, it’s oral sex.
We’re (MLB) heading them off at the pass, that’s all, and before the rush of states to adopt sports gambling becomes an avalanche. Sort of like saying, they were going to rob that store anyway, so I did it first.
No, greed is good, and MLB sees a source of revenue that is undeniably the next best thing in America – more significant than the iPhone and Lego’s put together.
It’s All About The Money- What Else Is New?
It’s not about the money as much as it about MLB’s hypocrisy in attaching itself to gambling while Pete Rose sits in limbo, denied his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Hit King and admitted gambler never hurt anyone except, perhaps, himself. Yes, he bet on major league games, but no has ever offered proof he bet on any team other than his own – for which Rose freely admitted to doing on several occasions.
Was Rose’s behavior a lapse in judgment, an instance where immoral behavior comes into focus?
Probably. But, consider this.
MLB levies an 81-game suspension on Domingo German for an admitted act of domestic violence, an action that usually would have been subject to arrest and prosecution for any “normal” citizen. Pete Rose gets a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
Where is justice in that? How can MLB juxtapose the actions of a gambler and a wife-beater in the ways they insist are fair?
MLB: What’s Behind That Opening Door?
MLB feels compelled to accept the inevitable. Sports gambling is going to be the next best “investment” since the iPhone and Legos – combined.
The alliance with DraftKings is a way MLB can hide behind an open door without direct exposure. Or, heaven forbid, by enacting a direct endorsement of gambling on baseball games – complete with a vehicle to gamble on MLB.com.
As more states make the march to legalizing online sports gambling, MLB’s problem will only thicken. Will they, for instance, prohibit the 780 major league players from placing bets in the privacy of their homes, an act that is not against the law in the state they reside?
Halfway in and halfway out is not a solution; it’s a problem that is going to cause MLB significant headaches soon.
But for now, being halfway in should at least be enough to put Pete Rose where he belongs – in uniform and welcome at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, with an opportunity for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Is that really so hard for MLB to do?