The Black Sox scandal that took place in 1919 led Major League Baseball to ban gambling from the game. Now, after all these years, the League is considering the idea of letting MotorCity Casino accept wagers on their games.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is in a mess as they are pondering on allowing MotorCity Casino to accept bets on Major League games because of the owner of the casino, Marian Illitch. Illitch’s family owns a hockey team, Detroit Red Wings and MLB team Deteroit Tigers. The fact that the owner of a team will be taking bets on the game makes the whole thing a bit difficult.
When the Michigan State Legislature approved the sports betting bill, the case of the owner of a team, also running a casino, was not discussed. Therefore, this matter is now completely left at the discretion of the League to decide whether they will allow it or not.
Executive vice president of gaming and new business ventures for MLB, Kenny Gersh pointed out that this was a clear case of conflict of interest,
Generally, under our policies, if an owner of a team also owns a sports betting operation, that owner wouldn’t be able to take bets on that owner’s team.” However, he also assured that they are looking at ways to resolve this conflict. He said, “We’re looking to adapt our policies to see if there’s a way that if there is a separation between the owner of a club and the operations of a sportsbook as it relates to baseball, then we may get comfortable with it.
Gersh cleared that the MLB was working closely with the Ilitch family to find out a way that protects the interests of both the parties,
We are working closely with the Ilitch family on making sure they can offer a compelling product to sports fans without having a conflict. We wouldn’t want any of our owners to benefit one way or another on whether their team wins or loses the game.