Major League Baseball (MLB) has become the first professional sports league to show its support for California’s Proposition 27, which would legalize online sports betting in the state.
Proposition 27, The California Solutions to Homeless and Mental Health Act, will be voted on by the Golden State’s population when it goes to the ballot in November this year.
Within its statement released on Friday supporting online sports betting in California, the MLB focused on protecting the integrity of the game and creating a safe environment for those that wish to bet.
“As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country, Major League Baseball remains committed to protecting the integrity of its games and creating a safe experience for fans who wish to wager on those games,” the MLB said in its statement, according to ESPN.
“Proposition 27 — the only measure on California’s upcoming ballot that would authorize and regulate online sports betting — includes strong integrity provisions designed to help MLB carry out those commitments.
“The measure would, for example, (1) require sports book operators to notify leagues of suspicious wagering activity, (2) allow leagues to propose restrictions on betting markets that are particularly susceptible to manipulation, and (3) facilitate other forms of integrity-related cooperation between the state, leagues, and operators.
“MLB believes that Prop 27 has the safeguards to create a safe and responsible online sports betting market in California — a state with millions of MLB fans looking for alternatives to illegal offshore betting sites.”
Proposition 27 is being backed by several operators such as FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings, and a portion of its revenue would help combat homelessness in the state, but there are groups opposed to it as well.
There is a second betting initiative in California as well called Proposition 26, The California Sports Wagering Regulation and Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act.
Backed by a group of the state’s tribes, this initiative would only allow retail wagering at tribal gaming properties as well as four horse racing tracks, with no online sports betting. The MLB didn’t state its position on Proposition 26.