For the first time since 1985, baseball betting in Nevada has completely opened up. It comes at the perfect time, as the 2019 MLB season is just getting started. Baseball fans in Nevada can now freely bet on any games taking place within the state.
The Nevada Gambling Commission is taking a big step here. We’re going to be talking about how this came about, and if it could be a sign that an MLB team is on its way to Las Vegas.
Sports betting has been legal in Nevada since 1949. It’s one of the most lucrative forms of gambling in the state. Nevada, and Las Vegas, in particular, has allowed betting on a wide variety of different sporting events taking place around the world.
Back in 1985, the Nevada Gambling Commission passed a rule to ban baseball betting on games taking place within the state. It didn’t make much sense, as the only professional teams in the state are the Las Vegas Aviators and Reno Aces, who do not play in the MLB.
This rule also prevented Nevada sportsbooks from offering odds on any games that involve the Aviators and Aces. This made it illegal to bet on the Vegas-backed team games taking place during Spring Training.
The MLB asked Nevada to stop allowing bets on Spring Training games. The Gambling Commission here didn’t grant that request and took a complete turn in the process. Baseball betting in Nevada is completely open now, including on any games taking place in the state.
It seems like Nevada finally realized this rule was nonsense. If the state allows baseball wagers on games in every other part of the country, why not in Nevada? Chairman of the Commission, Tony Alamo, commented on the change late last week.
“We’ve worked too hard on the integrity, so how hypocritical would that be if a professional league — MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL — would come and say, ‘Hey, we know you do a great job and gaming is above reproach, but don’t do our home games? That goes against the whole paradigm.” He continued by stating, “We know that sports betting is very safe with all the rules that we have in place.”
There’s no doubt that the 1985 ban was nonsensical. Some analysts, however, feel this may be in anticipation of an MLB team making the move into Las Vegas. This city may even create its own team like they did a few years ago.
Vegas is definitely working to increase its sporting presence. The city created and launched the Las Vegas Knights NHL team back in 2017. The Raiders, an NFL team, are officially moving to this city in 2020. Many now feel that an MLB team is next.
There is some discussion of an MLB stadium replacing the Rio Casino. Rob Manfred, Commissioner of the MLB, has said Las Vegas is a viable market for the league. A group of investors is actively working to bring a big-league team into the city.
There’s no answer on whether or not this will actually happen. Steve Phillips, former GM of the NY Mets, doesn’t see it happening anytime soon.
“You are probably looking at 10 years down the road,” he said. “You have the NHL here. You are going to get the NFL here. It certainly does make sense with the minor league being here for a long time. It makes sense at some point that this market could be able to sustain it.”
Baseball betting in Nevada is completely open once again. Perhaps in a few years, news will break that an MLB team making its way here.
Do you think we’ll see an MLB team playing in Las Vegas? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
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