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Evan Weiner: When Gambling Suits the Owners, it’s Fine

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. Photo: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred may be gearing up to support legalized sports books in the United States. Manfred has admitted gambling on baseball does occur and that his owners are reexamining baseball’s anti-gambling stance.

Baseball is reevaluating many things in an attempt to hike interest in the game, including tinkering with the basic foundation or the rules of the game. Meanwhile, polling conducted last October by a New Jersey university – after politicians in that state came up with yet another way of creating a path to allow betting on the NFL and other leagues – claims Americans support ending federal legislation that prevents state run sports books like the one in Nevada.

The Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll came up with 1,019 people who responded nationally by phones on landlines and cells. The survey claimed 48 percent favored legalizing sports gambling and ending the 1992 federal ban on sports betting in 46 states, including New Jersey, while 39 percent opposed expanding sports betting.

New Jersey has been pushing for a sports book since 2011 when voters said “yes” to gambling on sports events at state sponsored sports books. The National Football League immediately sued and a judge found that the New Jersey proposal ran afoul of the 1992 federal ban. The only states that can legally have gambling are Nevada, which has a full sports book, Delaware which has very limited NFL betting, Montana and Oregon.

Sports betting has been on the rise with the introduction of fantasy sports, which really is gambling, although sports organizations have partnerships with companies providing action games of skill instead of betting. The New Jersey battle goes on but the will of the people on Election Day 2011 was challenged by a private business, the NFL, and overturned by a judge but the chase for a sports book continues.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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