Major League Baseball May Back Sports Gambling?

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rod Manfred acknowledges people bet on baseball.




The United States seems to have had a problem with sports gambling. People didn’t want it. Globally there are places where sports betting is embraced. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver have suggested their ownership groups could be open to supporting sports books, after all people bet on sports anyway, legally or illegally but there are major hurdles to leap and that starts with the federal government. Then there is New Jersey where the people said yes to a sports book in 2011 and a judge said no.


Judge Michael Shipp should have said no after being assigned to hear the multiple cases of the NFL versus New Jersey in the state’s attempt to get a sports book going. Judge Shipp’s brother Marcel played in the league between 2001 and 2007. But Justice Shipp has nonetheless presided over the court action and last week decided against the state’s try to open up a sports book. Judge Shipp has constantly used a 1992 federal law as the basis for his decision which limits state sponsored sports gambling to four states, Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware and in Delaware, the betting is extremely restrictive.

In 2011, New Jersey voters said yes to a sports book. America’s four professional major leagues, the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball quickly initiated legal action to stop New Jersey from having a sports betting operation. Another interesting piece here is that National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver apparently has dropped his opposition to legalized sports betting and one of his owners, the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban, is supporting Silver’s position.


New Jersey’s sports book would have opened at Monmouth Racetrack and the racetrack’s betting partner would have been the United Kingdom bookmaker William Hill. Sports gambling is a way of life in the UK.

What happened to the will of the people who voted yes for a New Jersey sports book in a 2011 referendum? And how can the NFL lead a fight against legalized state sponsored sports gambling in New Jersey while the league is perfectly comfortable with legalized sports gambling in the United Kingdom?

The NBA Commissioner Adam SIlver has suggested his owners are very open to seeing sports betting on the NBA.