Following PASPA's repeal

MLB Players union head voices concern over increased commercial deals with gambling companies

Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLB Players Association.
Reading time 1:55 min

The Executive Director of the MLB Players Association, Tony Clark, has shown concern regarding the sport’s increased commercial deals with sports gambling companies. Before Tuesday’s All-Star Game, the executive was asked whether he was getting concerned with the gambling relationships, which have increased since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which outlawed sports betting.

"Getting? No. Is? Yeah. Has been? Sure,” Clark told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. "We’re entering a very delicate and, dare I say, dangerous world here. We hope that it is truly beneficial for our game moving forward and that everyone who is involved benefits from it in one fashion or another. But when you have players suggest that no sooner was PASPA repealed, that they started to have book houses following them on social media, that gets you a little twitchy pretty quick".

"And so we’ll continue to pound the pavement in each of the state legislatures that are continuing to push, that have language in place and those that don’t yet that are potentially coming online, to ensure that as much as anything, our players are protected, and their families by extension, are protected as a result of the language that’s on the books despite the fact that this train has left the station," he added, as reported by the Associated Press.

Last week, MGM Resorts International announced a multi-year agreement to become an Official Partner of MLB Players, Inc., the business arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association, giving the company the use of MLB Players' branding and group marketing rights. The partnership also provides hospitality benefits to MLB Players with MGM Resorts' properties serving as the host location for a variety of MLB player-related events.

Earlier this year, BetMGM and the Washington Nationals opened the first retail sportsbook connected to a MLB stadium, at Nationals Park. The BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park is open year-round.

Late last month, Caesars Entertainment, in partnership with the MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks, opened Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field. The two-story, 22,300-square-foot entertainment destination is located adjacent to Chase Field in Downtown Phoenix and is now the largest freestanding sportsbook in Arizona and the largest retail sportsbook to open in partnership with a major sports stadium nationwide. 

Furthermore, DraftKings is building an in-stadium sports book, scheduled to open next year at the southeast corner of Wrigley Field in Chicago

Back in April, FanDuel Group, one of the licensed mobile sports betting operators live in New York since January, announced a multi-year partnership renewal to become the Official Sports Betting Partner of MLB's New York Yankees. 

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