The Black Sox, Pete Rose, even recently the Yomiuri Giants, all involved in the dark side of baseball and gambling. With Daily Fantasy continuing to be a controversial topic, and the specter of legal sports gambling and its millions of dollars in revenue coming more into focus, how can fans, and the game be assured that all goings-on, legal or illegal, DFS or not, is on the up and up so scandals are avoided?
MLB appears to have taken a big step in that assuredness on Wednesday, announcing a partnership with London-based integrity monitoring company SportIM, to monitor all global activity that could potentially be tied to any illegal goings on. works with the EPL, Euroleague Basketball and the Football Association, among others, tracking millions of live and pre-match odds and betting activity around the world.
“This partnership will be an essential part of our initiatives to protect the game’s integrity,” said MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said in a release this morning.
“We are proud to be able to begin the expansion of our business in North America and look forward to a long relationship with MLB. It is reassuring to know that forward thinking organisations such as MLB are actively taking steps on how to best safeguard their competitions and implement effective measures in this environment to prevent any issues,” added Mark Locke, CEO at SportIM.
According to officials, there is about $720 million wagered a year legally in Nevada on baseball, trailing only the NFL and the NCAA. The amount of illegal wagering is thought to be 10 to 20 times that in the United States alone. While it does not appear right now that there is any illegal activity tied to MLB that prompted this step, the growing interest in legal gambling as well as the constant pressure to keep up with technology makes this a smart move for MLB in avoiding the issues of the past, be they decades ago or just last month in Japan.