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Volume 25 No. 196
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MLB Announcing Gambling Deal; Could MGM Add Third League?

MLB this afternoon plans to unveil details of a step into the world of legal sports gambling, and all signs point to some kind of partnership with MGM Resorts Int’l. A “major sports gaming announcement” is being made at MLB’s N.Y. HQ involving Commissioner Rob Manfred. The official reason for the announcement was not disclosed, but very similar phrasing was used earlier this year in advisories sent out in advance of announcements by the NBA and NHL regarding league-level partnerships with MGM. MLB, like many sports properties, has taken a heightened interest in sports betting following the U.S. Supreme Court verdict in May allowing states to legalize it. Longtime MLB exec Kenny Gersh was reassigned to a new role of Exec VP/Gaming & New Business Ventures, putting him in a point position for the league on sports betting matters. Additionally, MLB owners earlier this month at a business meeting in Atlanta discussed sports betting at length, including potential new club-level rights.