A brief history of betting in baseball and how SCOTUS ruling affects MLB

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LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 15: Jake Sindberg of Wisconsin makes bets during a viewing party for the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament inside the 25,000-square-foot Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino which features 4,488-square-feet of HD video screens on March 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 15: Jake Sindberg of Wisconsin makes bets during a viewing party for the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament inside the 25,000-square-foot Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino which features 4,488-square-feet of HD video screens on March 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 28: Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks to the media during a press conference prior to game four of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 28: Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks to the media during a press conference prior to game four of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Technically speaking, this Sunday you could legally gamble on a Sunday baseball game you’re at while drinking a beer.

Many already bet on baseball in the dark or head to Nevada to get in on the action … but now it will be brought into the light with the possibility of doing it from home or dare I say, even at the ballpark.

Make no mistake this is a loss for MLB, at least on the front end. They’ve been fighting the legalization of sports gambling for as long as one can remember. Though, today’s statement released by the league didn’t completely close the door on how they feel:

"“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court will have profound effects on Major League Baseball. As each state considers whether to allow sports betting, we will continue to seek the proper protections for our sport, in partnership with other professional sports. Our most important priority is protecting the integrity of our games. We will continue to support legislation that creates air-tight coordination and partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in sports toward that goal.”"

Both MLB and MLBPA, who released the statement below feel the same way:

"“The Court’s decision is monumental, with far-reaching implications for baseball players and the game we love. From complex intellectual property questions to the most basic issues of player safety, the realities of widespread sports betting must be addressed urgently and thoughtfully to avoid putting our sport’s integrity at risk as states proceed with legalization.”"

All of those big words …  all it means is the clubs, owners, league and players want a cut. If they’re going to be gambled upon they want to see some of that money too.

That might be opening Pandora’s box in itself and is unlikely to happen given there is now no reason for casinos to cut MLB in.

The four major sports unions in a join statement also took a similar tone:

"“Our unions have been discussing the potential impact of legalized gambling on players’ privacy and publicity rights, the integrity of our games and the volatility on our businesses. Betting on sports may become widely legal, but we cannot allow those who have lobbied the hardest for sports gambling to be the only ones controlling how it would be ushered into our businesses. The athletes must also have a seat at the table to ensure that players’ rights and the integrity of our games are protected.”"

More from Colorado Rockies News

What is interesting is that these entities are using player protection to parlay that into profit from gambling. Not knowing how it would work, but seeming to cut the players or clubs in at any given level could start swaying matches. There’s a reason why church and state are separate in America.

Locally, the Associated Press is already reporting that Colorado is likely to fully legalize sports betting within two years. In the NCAA’s bylaws, they state that they will not host a championship of any nature for all of college sports in a state with legalized sports gambling. Leagues had been scared for years to put teams in Vegas over gambling concerns and the only reason that may have changed because this ruling was expected.

So how could this impact the Rockies? In a perfect world, the state moves on this like it did marijuana laws and beats others to the punch, drawing millions of dollars to a mile high. In this scenario, the sports leagues decide there is nothing they can do but sit back and watch and let sports books pop-up next to sporting venues, lines be published on telecasts and perhaps even league-sponsored gambling sites like daily fantasy is now.

More likely, the leagues will continue to fight this and make it hard on states like Colorado who will probably be out front with legal changes.

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"“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner,” said Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association. “Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and sovereign tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and responsible market for sports betting.”"

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