MLB Backs CA Legal Online Sports Betting Initiative

Written By Mike Mazzeo on August 12, 2022
CA sports betting

MLB released a statement Friday supporting Proposition 27, which would legalize online sports betting in CA. 

State policymakers spoke out against sportsbook operator-backed Prop. 27 on Wednesday. 

Legal online California sports betting would help professional sports leagues like MLB increase revenues. 

Why MLB supports sports betting in CA Prop. 27

In states with legal sports betting, teams have partnered with sportsbooks. They have also built retail sportsbooks adjacent to their stadiums, and featured sportsbook advertising in their ballparks and on television. 

MLB’s statement reads: 

As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country, Major League Baseball remains committed to protecting the integrity of its games and creating a safe experience for fans who wish to wager on those games.  

Proposition 27––the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting––includes strong integrity provisions designed to help MLB carry out those commitments.  The measure would, for example, (1) require sports book operators to notify leagues of suspicious wagering activity, (2) allow leagues to propose restrictions on betting markets that are particularly susceptible to manipulation, and (3) facilitate other forms of integrity-related cooperation between the state, leagues, and operators.

MLB believes that Prop 27 has the safeguards to create a safe and responsible online sports betting market in California––a state with millions of MLB fans looking for alternatives to illegal offshore betting sites. 

Why CA policymakers oppose Prop. 27

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon provided statements Wednesday in opposition of Prop. 27. 

Said Atkins: “California’s tribes have proven to be safe and responsible operators of gaming in California, providing benefits to their communities and to their members. I stand with tribal governments in opposition to Prop 27 and support their right to operate gaming facilities on their lands.”

Added Rendon: “I am concerned that Prop 27 sends sports betting revenues to out-of-state corporations who wrote the measure to maximize their profits. Californians should vote no on 27 and support California tribes over out-of-state corporations.”

Tribal-backed Prop. 26 would only allow in-person sports betting. There is a Nov. 8 vote on the CA sports betting ballot initiatives. 

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a reporter for Legal Sports Report, arriving after covering several of New York’s professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPNNewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer.

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