Major League Baseball Redefines Policy On Player Gambling
Major League Baseball has always been strict when it comes to their stance on gambling within their sport. Players and coaches have always been banned from betting on baseball, even if their own teams are not involved. They are serious enough about the issue that they have given a lifetime ban to Pete Rose.
The former Phillies and Reds player is, by many accounts, the best hitter to ever play the game. Rose still holds the record for most career hits, but he put himself in danger when he bet on baseball games. When baseball found out about the gambling, they handed down a lifetime ban for Rose. While many have lobbied to have Rose reinstated, Commissioner Bud Selig has stood by the letter of the law on the issue.
One area that was undefined is players gambling with illegal bookies. While it is illegal in the US to gamble with an illegal bookie, baseball had no specific rules on the books regarding the practice. The new labor agreement defines the rules, and bans players from gambling on any sport with illegal bookies.
The subject has become a sore spot for all sports leagues in the US with the rise in popularity of gambling. Overseas, sports gambling is generally accepted, with some leagues even allowing teams to be sponsored by gambling companies. The US sports leagues, however, remain much more stringent in their desire to keep gambling illegal.
Las Vegas is currently the only place in the US where sports gambling is regulated. Sports books in Las Vegas bring in billions of dollars each year, with the biggest event of the year always being the Super Bowl. Last year, nearly $100 million was wagered on the Super Bowl.
New Jersey is making a strong push to become the second state to offer their residents places to gamble legally. Senator Raymond Lesniak has led the charge to legalize not only sports betting, but online gambling as well in Atlantic City. The casinos in AC have endorsed both additional forms of gambling at a time when the economy has stripped the city of thousands of gamblers.
The new baseball ban on gambling falls under the category of player conduct. In addition to the gambling ban, players can now be disciplined for throwing equipment and for violating federal, state, and local laws. That means that Commissioner Selig will now have a similar authority to suspend and fine players that NBA Commissioner David Stern and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell enjoy.
December 14, 2011
Posted By Vincent Tapoglia III
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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