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Major League Baseball‘s commissioner fired off a shot at state gaming regulators on the topic of sports betting a week before the Fourth of July.
In a radio interview with WFAN in New York, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred fielded a bunch of questions about the topic of sports gambling as legalization starts to spread across the US.
This quote, about how states will deal with integrity matters, is sure to raise a few eyebrows:
“I do not believe that it is appropriate for Major League Baseball … to rely on a bunch of state regulators to ensure the integrity of our sport. … Quite frankly, I don’t believe they’ll be as good at it as we will be,” he said.
Manfred had a lot more to say about sports betting, too, so go check out the WFAN story.
MLB seemingly takes a shot at every state that currently has gaming or sports betting, saying they won’t do an inferior job when it comes to integrity.
That includes Nevada, which has had sports betting for decades, and no known betting scandals as a result. New Jersey and Delaware also have legal sports betting now.
It “makes no sense” that Nevada’s regulations should be implemented elsewhere, said Bryan Seeley, a former federal public corruption prosecutor who heads MLB’s investigations, in an interview. “We should adopt regulations that fit 2018.”
But now MLB is going to states and telling them their existing and future gaming structures aren’t as good as what the MLB can do.
Good luck with that strategy. States are generally proud of how they regulate gaming, and telling them that they can’t do the job will likely not go over well.
It’s also a strange thing to say. Generally, sports betting integrity is ensured by everyone working together: bookmakers, leagues and regulators. Saying that MLB is somehow unilaterally going to ensure the integrity of its games flies in the face of reality.
I hate going to the well of old betting scandals. But the MLB insisting it is in the best position to do this fairly laughable given its not-so-distant history.
The specter of Pete Rose still lingers over the game of baseball. By his own account, Rose was betting on games every night when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
Clearly, MLB didn’t do a good job on the betting/integrity front back then. Something about stones and glass houses, MLB.