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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says the league has been ‘caught up’ in legalized sports betting

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was asked Monday during the 2024 Associated Press Sports Editors Commissioners Meetings whether the league has decided to shift its stance toward legalized sports betting.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wants prop bets to be carefully monitored, praises integrity system

Prop bets are a specific point of interest. Side bets allow fans to bet on individual outcomes for certain events, such as a strikeout, a go-ahead single or a grand slam. It would be much easier for an individual player to get caught betting.

“We have been working on prop bets since the beginning. When we lobby states, there are always certain types of bets that we have lobbied against. I mean, the first pitch of the game, we really don’t want that to be available as a prop bet,” Rob Manfred said.

“If you have problems in our sport or in other sports, it causes you to have to refocus your efforts, but we really think that our integrity program – in terms of the monitoring and data that is available to us – protects the sport.”

MLB players can legally gamble on other sports, but they are not allowed to gamble on diamond-related sports.

This includes MLB, Minor League Baseball, college, high school, softball and even international competition. According to available data, fourteen players were banned for gambling-related offenses between 1865 and 1920.

Twelve of them were banned for association with gambling or attempting to fix games, one was banned for violating the reserve clause and one was banned for making disparaging comments.

Pete Rose remains banned from the Hall of Fame for gambling

In 2015, then-Miami Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart was fined for illegal gambling, but it turned out he didn’t gamble on baseball.

Of course, MLB legend Pete Rose is still not in the Hall of Fame as he remains on the ineligible list for baseball game betting.

In his 2004 book entitled My prison without barsRose admitted that he had bet not only on baseball, but also on the Cincinnati Reds.

“I knew I had broken the letter of the law. But I didn’t think I was violating the “spirit” of the law, which was intended to prevent corruption. During the times I gambled as a manager, I never took an unfair advantage,” Rose wrote in his book.

I never bet more or less based on injuries or prior knowledge. I never allowed my betting to influence my baseball decisions. So in my eyes I was not corrupt. Admittedly, it was a thin distinction, but I believed in it at the time.”

League helped legalize sports betting Murphy vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2018

Additionally, Manfred added that the University of Alabama baseball scandal surfaced because the betting took place at an MLB ballpark.

A $100,000 bet was placed at the BetMGM sportsbook at Great American Ball Park by someone connected to Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon.

Manfred mentioned MLB’s integrity system for monitoring gambling activities. At the end of the meeting, the commissioner joked about the league’s involvement in the push for legal sports betting.

“We were dragged into legalized sports betting as a litigant in a case that ended up in the Supreme Court,” he said, laughing.

“That said, I realize – probably better today than when we were involved in that lawsuit – that one of the benefits of legalization is that it’s a lot easier to control what’s going on than it would be with an illegal operation .”

The Supreme Court case that Manfred refers to is Murphy vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association from 2018.

The court ruled that a federal law that prevents states from legalizing sports gambling is unconstitutional. Since the ruling, a total of 38 states and Washington DC now offer legalized gambling.