Former MLB Commish On Sports Betting: Teams Will ‘Generate An Absolute Avalanche Of Money’

Written By Dustin Gouker on April 11, 2018 - Last Updated on January 13, 2022
fay vincent sports betting

Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent weighed in on the future of sports betting, saying legalization would create “an absolute avalanche of money” for pro sports teams.

Vincent was speaking on the radio show of David DeMarco, a sports host in Michigan.

Vincent’s words come as MLB has been lobbying for its preferred version of sports betting legislation in states around the country.

An avalanche of money sounds like a lot

Vincent was explaining what he thought might happen in sports betting, if the US Supreme Court strikes down the federal ban on single-game wagering — PASPA — outside of Nevada. He said he believes that is the most likely outcome in the

Here are some of the highlights of what Vincent said:

  • “It’s going to be the biggest development in the overall business of sports in many years.”
  • “My guess when you legalize betting on sports in this country, you are going to generate an absolute avalanche of money for the franchises.”
  • The Miami Marlins sold in excess of $1 billion “because they know baseball is going to be generating this gambling revenue and the franchise is going to benefit.” He continued saying “The prices are beginning to reflect this gambling revenue, and I think the reality is going to live up to the expectation.”
  • “Once you make betting on sports legal, you change the whole culture of how the games are evaluated and approached. … The cultural and social and moral issues are really enormous.”

You can watch the whole interview here:

Vincent said a few similar things in an interview last year.

Vincent’s thoughts are at odds with MLB and the NBA. Those leagues, in lobbying on sports betting, have sometimes contended that legalization of wagering is not going to create a windfall for them monetarily.

Vincent not quite spot on with everything

Vincent did seem to be a little confused on the mechanics of what will happen if SCOTUS rules in favor of New Jersey.

He said “nobody is going to know whether Congress or the states or anyone else can step in and make sports betting illegal.”

However, sports wagering is going to remain illegal under state laws in much of the country, except in the handful of states have legalized it, pending the Supreme Court decision. (That list includes, at present, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Mississippi. New York may also use a law to roll out wagering at its commercial casinos.)

Congress could step in and create a new law to make wagering illegal, but that seems unlikely.

He also seemed to think that New Jersey would have to take further steps with the pro sports leagues if it wishes to offer sports betting, a sentiment that is not accurate.

“They (New Jersey) will have to work out a deal with the leagues…the leagues are going to want to be paid, there will be a delay.”

NJ would not need any approval from the leagues to operate wagering such as what exists in Nevada currently.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.

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