It’s a brand new ball game for Major League Baseball Players and sport bets. As part of baseball new collective agreementplayers can now endorse sports betting operators.
Before they wrap up their road trip against the Rockies, Bryce Harper might want some advice from Charlie Blackman. On April 20, the Colorado outfielder signed an endorsement agreement with MaximBet. He is the first active Major Leave Baseball player to sign with a bookmaker and others, possibly Harper, will follow.
New rules for MLB and sports betting
For the first time ever, the MLBPA negotiated a sports betting policy. Here are the highlights of the memo:
- Players may enter into sponsorship, marketing and other commercial agreements with sports betting companies (subject to various restrictions).
- Issues related to player safety which also include players’ families, due process and business relationships with companies involved in legal sports betting.
- All clubs will be required to institute enhanced security measures for the ballpark. A hotline to report threats made against Players or their families in connection with sports betting.
- It is illegal for Major League Baseball and any club to sell and/or license a player’s confidential medical information, personal biometric data, or any non-public data used to evaluate the player’s performance during practices or workouts.
Sportsbooks in partnership with active players inevitable next step
Chances of compliance is a technology and consulting company specializing in sports betting, iGaming and gambling regulatory compliance. PlayPennsylvania spoke with the CEO and co-founder Eric Frank about MLB players who can now team up with sports betting. At the time, no agreement had been reached.
“The ability for players to partner in sports betting is almost the inevitable next step in the continued growth of the gaming industry. The ability for individual players to monetize their own name, image and likeness is already a practice commonplace to gain endorsements from other business verticals, such as insurance, automotive and performance apparel.In the highly regulated gaming industry, we need to ensure that the appropriate measures are in place to balance player rights with consumer safety.
Of course, the association of active gamblers with sports betting calls into question the game integrity.
“With proper collaboration, regulation and safeguards in place, the integrity of the game can remain intact,” Frank explained. “While you can’t report to everyone on everything, you can provide the tools to succeed. Well-structured and enforced regulations, solid education, and the cooperation and buy-in of all stakeholders can go a long way in protecting the industry.
Other sportsbooks looking to sign MLB players?
PlayPennsylvania contacted a few weeks ago for FanDuel and BetMGM. We asked them if they planned to pursue this new form of partnership.
FanDuel reps said “no comment”. BetMGM did not respond.
In March, the Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid became the first active player of the four major sports in North America to sign a deal to become a bookmaker’s brand ambassador when he signed a deal with BetMGM.
Main image: Jack Dempsey/AP