The mobile side of the ongoing sports betting battle happening in California just got another ally now that Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced that it will support Proposition 27, the proposal that would allow outside operators to set up a mobile sportsbook market there.
The MLB’s move makes sense given that the other side of the argument represented by Proposition 26 would restrict sports betting to the local casinos and four racetracks in order to keep that market in the hands of the native tribes who now run the legal gambling in that state.
Baseball fans are like every sports fan in that they are looking for ways to make each game they watch more exciting, and few things pull a viewer right into the action more than having a little bit of money on the game, as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently told ESPN:
We see [legal mobile sports betting] primarily as a form of increasing fan engagement. It’s an additional way for our fans to interact with the game.
Of course, that can’t come at the expense of the integrity of baseball and protecting that reputation of honest competition is a priority for the MLB.
The MLB has forgiven many sins but do anything that might hurt the fans’ trust in the sport of baseball, and the league will never forget (just ask Pete Rose), and though they are embracing mobile sports betting they’ve made it clear that the integrity of the game is still paramount.
In a recent statement, the MLB said this about their support of Prop 27:
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 other reason the MLB wants Prop 27 to win is no doubt because with Prop 26 it would be more difficult for its live fans to place bets if the only place they can do it is miles away, but with the online option they will be able to bet from their seats and that makes all the difference.
Plus, as has been evidenced in the over thirty other states where mobile sports betting is now legal, that option is proving to be more lucrative than the retail markets in those places.
There’s a reason the MLB, CA lawmakers, and the native tribes all care about the inevitable legal sports betting market that at some point will launch in that state, and that reason has over nine zeros in it, as in that market is worth billions of dollars in untapped taxable revenue.
But exactly how that new sport betting market will look will be up to the California voters who get to decide at the November ballot whether they want Prop 26 or Prop 27, a mobile vs retail debate that will rage on until then so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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