Major League Baseball headed to London despite that sports betting is illegal in the city
By Staff Writer | Jan 27, 2016 06:57 AM EST
Major League Baseball is looking forward to playing regular-season games in the United Kingdom as soon as next year. MBL insisted that it's okay with playing the games in London, despite the fact that the leagues have opposed legalized sports betting in the U.S.
According to Yahoo! News, Major League Baseball has opened its season in a non-traditional market abroad seven times. It would not confirm explicit details mentioned in a report on its website that claims that games in London are expected to be part of a mid-season trip.
"We are very interested in playing there, and we're working hard on that one," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated in the report. He added, "I don't think it will be an opener because of the weather issues. It would be later in the season."
In an interview with the Associated Press, the MLB commissioner even said that the league hopes to play a regular season game in London during the 2017 season. And by that, baseball would be accompanied by the NFL, NBA, and NHL, which have all scheduled regular season games in Europe in recent years.
But then, the NFL and the other leagues that have hosted the UK matches have been criticized for maintaining a double standard concerning the sports betting. All four leagues have actively blocked New Jersey's efforts to legalize sports betting in the Garden State based on their reasons that sports betting intimidates the integrity of their sporting product.
MLB is an investor in the daily fantasy sports website called DraftKings, which has been known to be illegal gambling by lawmakers general in a lot of jurisdictions. And that's a relationship he thinks that he is still "comfortable" with, as told in an ESPN interview with Manfred.
Manfred was also being cautious on details of the games. However, reports have claimed that London's Olympic Stadium has been suggested as the most appropriate venue to host, whichever MLB teams are selected, as mentioned in the news site Ayre Calvin.
Meanwhile, many people think that the move of putting the games in London would be a proof that MLB, like the other leagues does not view games in jurisdictions with legal sports betting as a threat to the integrity of the sport. The NFL also currently follows an agreement to keep playing in London through 2020, while NBA played its sixth regular-season in London earlier this month.