Just in case you thought there wasn’t enough new sports betting programming, fear not: Major League Baseball has launched a daily betting show called “Bettor’s Eye” and it will air daily on MLB.TV, as first reported by Sports Business Journal.
BetMGM has partnered with MLB as the sponsor for the program, which debuted at noon Thursday before moving to its regular time slot of 6 p.m. daily.
The show, hosted by Keith Irizarry, is also available on @MLBPicks Twitter stream.
“This is really the year for us where we start turning our attention to how we use sports betting as an engagement product,” MLB Exec VP/Business Development Kenny Gersh said in the article. “The first couple of years were getting all these (authorized operator) deals in place. And now it’s really to help drive.”
The show will feature talk about pregame odds, analytic discussion, and hot takes by handicappers and assorted other gambling-related folks.
Of course, for decades, the MLB was aghast at the prospect of nationwide legalized betting on the sport.
In 2012, then-commissioner Bud Selig went to court (along with the other professional leagues) to prevent New Jerseyans – who had voted to legalize betting, before the federal ban known as PASPA was struck down – from getting the opportunity to bet at legal sportsbooks. And MLB brass remained in lockstep with its opposition to sports gambling alongside the NFL et. al. until PASPA’s bitter end in May 2018 at the hands of the Supreme Court.
Just a little while earlier, in 2017, new commissioner Rob Manfred began to see the writing on the wall.
“There is this buzz out there in terms of people feeling that there may be an opportunity here for additional legalized sports betting,” Manfred said at the time. “We are reexamining our stance on gambling. It’s a conversation that’s ongoing with the owners.”
Now PASPA is history, and Pete Rose is still serving a lifetime ban for gambling on baseball games. (Legally obliged to mention that here.)