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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Why gambling used to scare baseball and why it doesn’t anymore

In 2013, Selig gave sworn testimony about the Lovecraftian horrors that would emerge from gambling’s depths to consume baseball.

In 2018, his replacement waxed poetic about just how snugly the sport and gambling fit together.

This is how baseball stopped worrying and learned to love the casino.

Interesting read on the optics of gambling, and how technology plays in.

Greg Pope Posted: December 13, 2018 at 07:51 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gambling

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   1. bobm Posted: December 13, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5797674)
FTFA:

And forget about all those old objections from the last section. They’re all ridiculous in the current context. Take the one with the Black Sox throwing a World Series for money. How much would it cost to bribe a player in a sport where the minimum salary is over a half-million dollars per year? Even if you come up with a figure, how would you turn that into enough betting to make a profit without drawing suspicion? This isn’t an age where players are getting flat bottles of champagne as a bonus anymore.
   2. bbmck Posted: December 13, 2018 at 09:58 PM (#5797682)
Unknown bettor laying $8mil on a single game

It's still logistically complex, if the Astros make the 2018 World Series and you manage to bribe Roberto Osuna to pull a Mitch Williams since he has relatively low career earnings for someone who can tilt the balance in a World Series game you won't know in advance when he might even be in that situation and it's much harder to make an $8mil bet on the Dodgers to win Game 4 when they are trailing 3-2 in the 9th.
   3. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 13, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5797686)
How much would it cost to bribe a player in a sport where the minimum salary is over a half-million dollars per year?


A much more interesting question is, how much would it cost to bribe an umpire?
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 13, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5797689)
A much more interesting question is, how much would it cost to bribe an umpire?

Or since MLB is supposedly touting how it's paced to encourage a myriad of prop bets, how much to bribe a manager? Or a pitcher/catcher who rationalizes that "having a bit of fun" with a specific pitch isn't anything like throwing a game? This probably won't end well, but everyone in the industry will be motivated to cover up any problems to keep the revenue flowing.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 13, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5797690)
Unknown bettor laying $8mil on a single game

please read the link--he did NOT bet 8 million-casinos take no individual bets above 500K on a game
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 13, 2018 at 10:54 PM (#5797691)
Gambling shouldn't scare baseball because of the possibility of game throwing, not in the age of mega-salaries for players who'd likely be able to actually turn a game around. A player making a minimum salary might be more susceptible, but what's the point in bribing a player who may not even be in the lineup, or a minimum salaried rookie star who knows he'll be able to cash in as soon as he reaches free agency?

And bribing umpires in the age of replays is also kind of a non-starter. Yes, balls and strikes are poorly called on the margins all the time, but a blatantly bad call at a key point in a game would raise a stink that'd be hard to brush off, especially if it seemed to follow a pattern of similar calls.

That said, legalized gambling that tries to create new customers by advertising is a moral abomination. This is going to wind up wrecking more homes than illegal bookies ever did. But since state-sponsored casinos have already smashed that taboo, it's hard to see why sports gambling should be an exception.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5797693)
Gambling shouldn't scare baseball because of the possibility of game throwing, not in the age of mega-salaries for players who'd likely be able to actually turn a game around. A player making a minimum salary might be more susceptible, but what's the point in bribing a player who may not even be in the lineup, or a minimum salaried rookie star who knows he'll be able to cash in as soon as he reaches free agency?

And bribing umpires in the age of replays is also kind of a non-starter. Yes, balls and strikes are poorly called on the margins all the time, but a blatantly bad call at a key point in a game would raise a stink that'd be hard to brush off, especially if it seemed to follow a pattern of similar calls.


These seem like good arguments for why we need not worry about baseball actually having so much throwing of games that the entire pursuit becomes a farce. But they certainly don't prove that game-throwing will never occur. Indeed, it seems almost inevitable that it will. I mean, it probably already happens, but it will just become easier.

An earlier article mentioned the possibility of placing bets on the next pitch. A player or umpire would only need a single co-conspirator in the stands in order to make some easy money.
   8. bbmck Posted: December 13, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5797696)
He bet a total of $8 million on the Dodgers to win Game 6, and stood to win more than $6 million if the Dodgers pulled out the win (L.A. closed at around -126).
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 14, 2018 at 12:30 AM (#5797699)
MLB doesn't mind anymore after the change in public sentiment. Mostly created by NBA commish Adam Silver speaking favorably about partnering with gambling entities, and both the NFL and NHL planting a franchise in Vegas.
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 14, 2018 at 01:44 AM (#5797700)
We talked to sports (leagues) in Europe when we realized this was coming. - Rob Manfred


It's hard to overstate just how closely gambling is intertwined with European sport. For one example, Stoke City FC is owned by the family that runs one of the world's largest online gambling companies, and the company's logo is on their uniforms as the team's sponsor.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 02:07 AM (#5797704)
How much would it cost to bribe a player in a sport where the minimum salary is over a half-million dollars per year?

They're young, invincible, idolized, and have tons of disposable cash. I would guess players would get into gambling more for the adrenaline rush than to supplement their salaries. Michael Jordan probably wasn't gambling on anything and everything he could because he needed the dough.
   12. Greg Pope Posted: December 14, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5797727)
How much would it cost to bribe a player in a sport where the minimum salary is over a half-million dollars per year?
...
Unknown bettor laying $8mil on a single game

As I understand it, the problem with gambling isn't really the legal betting that can be done. It's the illegal betting. Even the Black Sox weren't paid off by a bettor who wanted to lay a huge bet on them losing. It was a gambling syndicate.

No single person is going to pay a player $2M to try to cash in on an $8M bet. The visibility is too high. But an illegal gambling syndicate can give really good odds to the favorite to get people to tilt their bidding towards said favorite. They get $200M on the favorite and only $20M on the underdog, then the underdog wins and the syndicate makes out.

Secondly, if a player gets in too deep to a syndicate, they may not even have to bribe them. Just forgive their debt (carrot) or threaten to break their kneecaps (stick).

However, I doubt that the guys at MGM are doing this. So the legal business doesn't have the same dangers, in theory.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5797730)
However, I doubt that the guys at MGM are doing this. So the legal business doesn't have the same dangers, in theory.

Except the larger the legal gambling market, the easier it is for the illegal gamblers to place their bets, and not have it move the odds.

   14. Lassus Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5797755)
How much would it cost to bribe a player in a sport where the minimum salary is over a half-million dollars per year?

This is an incredibly weird argument when we live in a world where endless multi-millionaires squeak like stuck pigs over a thousand or two on a P&L.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5797757)
This is an incredibly weird argument when we live in a world where endless multi-millionaires squeak like stuck pigs over a thousand or two on a P&L.

And multi-millionaire trades, and bankers, and lawyers, and real estate people commit crime to make more money.
   16. bobm Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5797773)
This is an incredibly weird argument when we live in a world where endless multi-millionaires squeak like stuck pigs over a thousand or two on a P&L.

And multi-millionaire trades, and bankers, and lawyers, and real estate people commit crime to make more money.


The difference is the publicity.

For example, but not to go all OT-P, Trump is now alleged to have done all kinds of shady things with very little scrutiny even before he was elected president.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5797775)
The difference is the publicity.

I'm not sure I understand your point? There's plenty of publicity when you get caught. Everyone knows who Michael Milliken and Ivan Boesky are.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5797776)
How much would it cost to bribe a player in a sport where the minimum salary is over a half-million dollars per year?

This is an incredibly weird argument when we live in a world where endless multi-millionaires squeak like stuck pigs over a thousand or two on a P&L.


Gambling has been legal in Nevada for many decades. Where's the evidence of game fixing or point shaving? The point being that the leagues and the casino owners have an enormous financial stake in keeping the games on the up-and-up, and just ask Tim Donaghy if they're not serious about coming down hard on offenders.

This isn't to say that it's not theoretically possible to rig small events. You'd only need a cooperative pitcher to throw a ball in order to help a fixer who was betting on that pitch. But betting on each pitch was a widespread phenomenon BITD,** when salaries were low and players had much more incentive to cheat, and yet somehow baseball remained clean from the late 20's through the rest of the reserve clause era.

OTOH if and when baseball begins multi-million dollar ad campaigns to attract new bettors, as states do to attract suckers into their casinos, it's not hard to figure out that countless numbers of people are going to be plunged into serious debt, and that homes are going to be destroyed in the wake. And it wouldn't take a single fixed game or pitch for that sort of damage to occur.

** I've mentioned before that a late bookie friend of mine used to set up "shop" at Griffith Stadium during Nats' games in the 40's and 50's, and give odds on each pitch. He certainly wasn't the only person doing that, and with Western Union machines in every illegal betting joint, such bets were made hundreds of miles from the nearest Major League ballpark.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5797778)
Gambling has been legal in Nevada for many decades. Where's the evidence of game fixing or point shaving? The point being that the leagues and the casino owners have an enormous financial stake in keeping the games on the up-and-up, and just ask Tim Donaghy if they're not serious about coming down hard on offenders.

You just mentioned the evidence. Tim Donaghy.

There have been innumerable point shaving scandals in college hoops.

OTOH if and when baseball begins multi-million dollar ad campaigns to attract new bettors, as states do to attract suckers into their casinos, it's not hard to figure out that countless numbers of people are going to be plunged into serious debt, and that homes are going to be destroyed in the wake. And it wouldn't take a single fixed game or pitch for that sort of damage to occur.

Given the prevalence of gambling options across the USA, I'm a bit skeptical that MLB is going to create many new problem gamblers. Everyone bets on the NFL, even though it hasn't been legal.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5797780)
They're young, invincible, idolized, and have tons of disposable cash. I would guess players would get into gambling more for the adrenaline rush than to supplement their salaries.


Do young invincible athletes get an adrenaline rush from losing a game on purpose? Seems unlikely.
   21. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5797781)
The difference is the publicity.


I'm not sure I understand your point? There's plenty of publicity when you get caught. Everyone knows who Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky are.

Milken and Boesky were operating in a profession where in reality there are plenty of gray areas, and where "colorful rogues" are in many ways seen as the embodiment of capitalist virtue. There's no such gray area in sports, other than with PEDs, and PEDs don't involve game fixing or related forms of crookedness.
   22. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5797782)
But since state-sponsored casinos have already smashed that taboo, it's hard to see why sports gambling should be an exception.
I would agree that I don't expect the state to throw up the stop sign just for that one particular form of gambling.

But I'm greatly disappointed (though not surprised) that MLB is too stupid to see the dangers.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5797785)
But since state-sponsored casinos have already smashed that taboo, it's hard to see why sports gambling should be an exception.

I would agree that I don't expect the state to throw up the stop sign just for that one particular form of gambling.

But I'm greatly disappointed (though not surprised) that MLB is too stupid to see the dangers.


I agree, though the root of my objection is the state's role in promoting gambling, not gambling per se. I have nothing against decriminalizing all forms of gambling, as long as it's keep below the surface where a prospective bettor has to search it out on his own, rather than be lured into betting by advertising.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5797787)
Milken and Boesky were operating in a profession where in reality there are plenty of gray areas, and where "colorful rogues" are in many ways seen as the embodiment of capitalist virtue.

The SEC doesn't care, and they'll throw your ass in jail. Lots of SEC lawyers want to become Attorneys General.

The legal risk from insider trading is much greater than that for fixing games.

There's no such gray area in sports, other than with PEDs, and PEDs don't involve game fixing or related forms of crookedness.

Sure there are. The arguments for reinstating Rose, and the history of baseball pre-1925 show this.

   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5797788)
Do young invincible athletes get an adrenaline rush from losing a game on purpose? Seems unlikely.

When it's a meaningless game in Sept. and they $2 million in gambling debts, sure.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5797791)
Gambling has been legal in Nevada for many decades. Where's the evidence of game fixing or point shaving? The point being that the leagues and the casino owners have an enormous financial stake in keeping the games on the up-and-up, and just ask Tim Donaghy if they're not serious about coming down hard on offenders.

You just mentioned the evidence. Tim Donaghy.

There have been innumerable point shaving scandals in college hoops.


Out of how many hundreds of thousands of games?

OTOH if and when baseball begins multi-million dollar ad campaigns to attract new bettors, as states do to attract suckers into their casinos, it's not hard to figure out that countless numbers of people are going to be plunged into serious debt, and that homes are going to be destroyed in the wake. And it wouldn't take a single fixed game or pitch for that sort of damage to occur.

Given the prevalence of gambling options across the USA, I'm a bit skeptical that MLB is going to create many new problem gamblers. Everyone bets on the NFL, even though it hasn't been legal.


It's now legal in at least two states, now with one on the East Coast, with more likely to come.

Right here on this forum you've got evidence of many baseball fans who have little or no interest in other sports. And if you get the opportunity to bet on every pitch, the instant gratification mentality is likely to kick in with full force.
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5797794)
Do young invincible athletes get an adrenaline rush from losing a game on purpose? Seems unlikely.


When it's a meaningless game in Sept. and they $2 million in gambling debts, sure.

Just how are they going to go $2 million into debts with bookies without word getting out? And how is legalizing gambling going to make those debts any easier to conceal?
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5797795)
I'm not sure I understand your point? There's plenty of publicity when you get caught. Everyone knows who Michael Milliken and Ivan Boesky are.


There usually isn't that much publicity when you get caught. JP Morgan was fined $13 billion for crimes it committed during the financial crisis, but Jamie Dimon is still treated like some kind of statesman.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5797800)
MLB doesn't mind anymore after the change in public sentiment.

It would only take an incident or two to change public sentiment. Gamblers are always looking for an edge, and it seems likely that players and others in MLB will eventually get caught up in the unseemly side of the business. If gambling was a concern when it was in the shadows, the problem isn't going to go away when betting on baseball increases tenfold, or more, with legalization.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5797803)
Just how are they going to go $2 million into debts with bookies without word getting out? And how is legalizing gambling going to make those debts any easier to conceal?

How did Tim Donaghy fix games without word getting out?

The way word usually gets out on fixes in the odds change weirdly. That what happened in 1919. If the gambling market is much largely with lots of casual gamblers, the odds won't move as much.
   31. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5797808)
Do young invincible athletes get an adrenaline rush from losing a game on purpose? Seems unlikely.

The issue for me isn't throwing games, but rather fixing prop bets particularly in low-leverage situations. If a reliever comes into an 8-2 game and walks the first two batters, is it because his control is a little off or because he knows his college roommate bet the over on 1-1/2 walks in the half-inning?
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5797817)
The issue for me isn't throwing games, but rather fixing prop bets particularly in low-leverage situations. If a reliever comes into an 8-2 game and walks the first two batters, is it because his control is a little off or because he knows his college roommate bet the over on 1-1/2 walks in the half-inning?

If that's all that happens, so what? It's crooked, but it doesn't affect the outcome of the game, and it's not as if a fixer would be able to make huge bets on situations like that without arousing suspicion----if in fact there weren't maximum limits put on single pitch or batter events in order to discourage that sort of thing.

Again, the far bigger problem is the prospect of this creating new gamblers, but clearly to MLB that's a feature, not a bug.
   33. base ball chick Posted: December 15, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5798104)
Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 14, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5797808)
Do young invincible athletes get an adrenaline rush from losing a game on purpose? Seems unlikely.

The issue for me isn't throwing games, but rather fixing prop bets particularly in low-leverage situations. If a reliever comes into an 8-2 game and walks the first two batters, is it because his control is a little off or because he knows his college roommate bet the over on 1-1/2 walks in the half-inning?


- dingdingding

is MLB going to INCREASE the length of games to make sure there are plenty of gamblers to place their bets second to second?

is some sort of permanent gambling entry subscreen going to be attached whether you like it or not to the game screen?

are the announcers going to be forced to talk about odds the way they now mention some sponsor in every sentence?

and yall keep talking about someone earning 20 mill a year going along with throwing something

what about the young player who is getting minimum minus taxes/living expenses in 1-2 cities + agent fees and not much more for 3-4 full years if he is no superstar? most guys who make the ML for even 1 day don't GET to FA and any sort of payoff

the way things are going, with the lust for younger cheapo players, only the mike trout/kershaw superstar types are going to get any contract extension beyond MAYBE the first 2 years of FA and they are almost always REALLY team friendly. things travel at the speed of lightning these days. someone who has a dan uggla fielding effup day can really do some damage in the odds.

AND i wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the really good and poorly paid young players, whether they say so or not, are not real too happy about the owners making tons more without making sure that a higher percentage of the loot is distributed to them. the seniority system is starting to really fail because older FA are not exactly valued like they used to be and they could be wanting a guaranteed pay day - grudge style, like the guys who hated cheapskate charlie comisky

   34. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: December 15, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5798129)
If that's all that happens, so what?
Because quite obviously, that won't be all that happens.

It's crooked, but it doesn't affect the outcome of the game, and it's not as if a fixer would be able to make huge bets on situations like that without arousing suspicion----if in fact there weren't maximum limits put on single pitch or batter events in order to discourage that sort of thing.
Is a lifelong baseball fan actually arguing that a reliever walking a couple guys in a low-leverage situation can't affect the outcome of the game? Or that as long as in retrospect it *didn't* affect the outcome of the game, we shouldn't care about the fact that it happened?

Again, the far bigger problem is the prospect of this creating new gamblers, but clearly to MLB that's a feature, not a bug.
a) I disagree. b) Even if I agreed, the much larger issue *FOR MLB* should be whether or not the integrity of their game might be compromised.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 15, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5798135)
Since I seriously doubt the game is going to be compromised any more by legalized gambling than it already has been by gambling in Nevada and New Jersey, I'm far more concerned about the creation of new gambling addicts. The former concern is hypothetical, while the latter concern has a boatload of data to back it up.
   36. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 15, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5798150)

Or since MLB is supposedly touting how it's paced to encourage a myriad of prop bets, how much to bribe a manager?
You mean, like, to use Ubaldo Jimenez while leaving Zach Britton sitting on the bench?
   37. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2018 at 09:26 PM (#5798151)
On first impression, I am not at all for this. Sports, like most all businesses (but especially sports), thrives on image and goodwill. These can be lost and tarnished quite easily. There are so many unknowns as to how this would play out. Once the integrity of play is questioned, it is difficult to regain or set right. Why take the chance?
   38. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 15, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5798157)
On first impression, I am not at all for this. Sports, like most all businesses (but especially sports), thrives on image and goodwill. These can be lost and tarnished quite easily. There are so many unknowns as to how this would play out. Once the integrity of play is questioned, it is difficult to regain or set right. Why take the chance?


The NBA already tested these questions fifteen years ago and discovered that, as it turns out, nobody cares. When the integrity of play is questioned, regaining it is as easy as waiting for everyone to get bored with the scandal and move on to the next outrage.
   39. yest Posted: December 16, 2018 at 05:15 AM (#5798170)
1. Even if a player plays to win, a run shaving scandal will still destroy the sport.
2. Spotting a bad call by the umpire doesn’t mean the umpire is crooked or not, was Don Denkinger crooked?
3. Comparing baseball to basketball insults the baseball watching audience, basketball in recent years is more entertainment than a sport anyway. Basketball is about players more than teams, the regular season is practically irrelevant. Who wins and who looses is only relevant in June. In a slow paced game no integrity of the game on the field is much more devastating.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2018 at 08:36 AM (#5798174)
It's crooked, but it doesn't affect the outcome of the game


Just because it isn’t specifically intended to affect the outcome of the game doesn’t mean that it won’t.
   41. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5798175)
38

Am I acquainted with what happened in... bas-ketBall? Oh, silly me! I must have just made up a word that doesn't exist.
   42. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2018 at 08:43 AM (#5798177)
It's crooked, but it doesn't affect the outcome of the game.


This attitude seems to me the epitome of putrid. I may be wrong, and I'm willing to be educated, but wasn't that the whole point of MLB drawing bright lines in the sand to begin with--so all those things didn't have to be debated ad infinitum and parsed out on what approaches the equivalent of the subatomic level.
   43. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 16, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5798181)
It's crooked, but it doesn't affect the outcome of the game.

This attitude seems to me the epitome of putrid. I may be wrong, and I'm willing to be educated, but wasn't that the whole point of MLB drawing bright lines in the sand to begin with--so all those things didn't have to be debated ad infinitum and parsed out on what approaches the equivalent of the subatomic level.


Since I can't really disagree with your point about bright lines in the sand, let me try again.

My objection to legalized sports gambling is that it inevitably will create a new class of gambling addicts, and that the social costs of that far override my concern that a pair of undetectable wink-wink / nudge-nudge walks in the 8th inning of a 10 to 2 game are going to undermine the integrity of the game.

I will agree that it's a slippery slope. But again I emphasize that the way to deal with it is to forget the whole idea of MLB-encouraged gambling in the first place. It's like running ads for Juul on TV shows aimed at 12 year olds. I don't happen to think that the game's integrity will likely be compromised, but if it is, it'll be the entire fault of a pack of amoral greedy-assed marketers who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
   44. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5798185)
Baseball at any level should be about playing and watching the game, and it should be a game devoid as close to absolute as possible of any taint or suggestion of taint. And allowing extraneous matters to infiltrate the playing and watching should be prevented, as it is a distraction from the playing and watching. If people want to gamble on games, that can't be prevented. What can be prevented is gambling being allowed to permeate into the way the game is structured and played. This corruption should especially not be sanctioned by the institution itself.
   45. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 16, 2018 at 09:34 AM (#5798187)
Completely agree with the above. If people have to gamble, leave them alone but don't encourage them or allow it to operate in the open. You can never really stop people from gambling who have an inborn gambling compulsion, but at least by keeping it underground you can limit the damage.
   46. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5798200)
walks in the 8th inning of a 10 to 2 game


Ha! See the goal-post shifting!! Oh, Andy, Andy, how could you?

Are people still having trouble with that effing Adidas ad? I was at work the other day when it was first mentioned, and was auto-logged in so it wasn't a problem. But at home, both Firefox and Chrome had been recently updated so I was logged out and still can't get back in on either. Now I'm using my Avast Secure browser, which blocks ads even when I'm not logged in.

Has Jim said anything about this issue?
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5798204)
I'm far more concerned about the creation of new gambling addicts. The former concern is hypothetical, while the latter concern has a boatload of data to back it up.

first, I cannot wish enough bad karma on those responsible for that infuriating adidas ad and it's ruining of the chance to view the site.

second, the studies I have seen from the UK - which is more than a decade ahead of us on online gambling, for instance, for better or for worse - seems to show that the increased prevalence and government sanction of sports betting doesn't increase the volume of gambling addicts. there is the issue of those addicts blowing the mortgage money far more quickly, however, based on not even having to put on a pair of pants and drive to the casino/racetrack/sportsbook.

MS and RI force you to make such a trek to make a sports bet; NV and NJ do not. each state will have to decide on what track to take.
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 16, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5798209)
Are people still having trouble with that effing Adidas ad? I was at work the other day when it was first mentioned, and was auto-logged in so it wasn't a problem. But at home, both Firefox and Chrome had been recently updated so I was logged out and still can't get back in on either. Now I'm using my Avast Secure browser, which blocks ads even when I'm not logged in.

Has Jim said anything about this issue?


Not sure whether he has or not, but I haven't seen any ads here for many years, possibly because I've occasionally donated to the site. This may be more than a coincidence.
   49. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5798214)
That ad keeps me from using Edge browser to access this site. But I don't get it with Chrome.
   50. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 16, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5798218)
I don't normally see ads, as I've donated as well, but anytime I get logged out (like when browser history gets deleted) they will show up until I get logged back in. But that one stupid ad doesn't allow anything else on the page to load, so you can't even get to the log-in screen.

I just hope IT hasn't done any updates on the system over the weekend, as I'm sure that'll sign me out of BTF, and then I'll just have to work all week instead of using my afternoons more productively here.
   51. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 16, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5798224)
Okay, in Firefox refreshing the page 10 times (yes, I can count that high! Even without checking my fingers) got me to the page content. Hope IE will do as well if I get logged out at work.

Just noticed, the Donate button on the home page disappears when you log in. I think it's unobtrusive enough that I'd want to keep it there all the time.
   52. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5798226)
I used to donate, but ran into a Catch-22 with paypal. once I forgot my password, paypal wouldn't help me - but also wouldn't let me make a new account because it knew I already had one. maybe they have straightened that out - or I have laid low long enough that they forget I ever existed.
   53. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 16, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5798231)
ran into a Catch-22 with paypal.


Ooh, reminds me I should log into my Hotmail account soon. Supposedly they shut it down if you don't visit at least once a month, but I'm pretty sure I've missed that deadline before without causing a problem.

But now I've tempted fate, so better check.
   54. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 16, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5798241)
I emphasize that the way to deal with it is to forget the whole idea of MLB-encouraged gambling in the first place.

Will it be that easy to do though once ads on uniforms happen, and the casinos are the ones who pony up the most dough to make it happen? Like it has already happened in Europe? And when the announcers (at the behest of the teams benefitting from it) are pushing it and the on-screen crawl is running constant prop bets and where to text your wager so you don't miss out on all the fun and excitement?

Seems like a good time to repost this article that I posted in one of the other recent gambling topics:

BBC: Does Football Have a Gambling Problem?
Gambling is very visible in English football. This season, almost 60% of clubs in England’s top two divisions have the names of gambling companies on their shirts – that’s nine of the 20 Premier League clubs, and 17 of the 24 in the Championship. Watch live football on any platform this season and - aside from the number of betting companies you will see on club shirts, advertising hoardings, and even stadium names - you’ll see a wealth of gambling companies giving out the latest odds during the ad breaks. There is also research to show professional footballers themselves are a particularly at-risk group, in terms of developing problematic gambling behaviour and this may represent a conflict of interest for football authorities.

Watch football on TV in the UK and you'll see plenty of gambling ads.

The commercial broadcasters that show live Premier League, EFL, and European games rely largely on advertising (as well as subscriptions in most cases) for their income. As well as ad breaks that feature commercials promoting gambling around live football, some outlets also feature segments of live programming bookended by sponsorship messages from gambling companies.

When this hellscape comes to pass, I'm done watching MLB. Cold turkey. With extreme prejudice. I already have gotten into the habit of turning off the TV for the night, rather than muting or changing the channel, when they launch into their nightly gambling updates for DFS. It'll make us long for those sweet innocent days when it was Wendy's and Duracell buying ad time between batters in the World Series. Anyway, continuing...

In a study of almost 350 footballers and cricketers conducted by the Professional Players’ Federation (PPF), results suggested sportspeople were three times more likely than the general public to be problem gamblers. One in 10 sportsmen interviewed by the PPF said they gambled to "fit in", one in four said they were encouraged by team-mates to do it, and nearly one in three thought their team's links with the gambling industry "encouraged" them to bet.

Emphasis mine.

"I’d come into the changing room, take my phone out of my tracksuit bottoms, and, as soon as the the manager had finished his team talk, I’d put it down my shorts and go sit in a cubicle to put bets on the second half (of the game he was playing in)," [a former pro footballer] explained.

What could possibly go wrong for MLB?
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 16, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5798244)
I used to donate, but ran into a Catch-22 with paypal. once I forgot my password, paypal wouldn't help me - but also wouldn't let me make a new account because it knew I already had one. maybe they have straightened that out - or I have laid low long enough that they forget I ever existed.

You can just use a cc.
   56. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 16, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5798253)

I contacted Jim about the Adidas ad a couple of days ago; he asked me to send him a screenshot which I did. Haven't heard anything since then but I'm still having the same problem in Chrome -- basically it prevents the page from loading and I have to refresh 5-10 times to get a page with a different ad.
   57. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 16, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5798254)

My objection to legalized sports gambling is that it inevitably will create a new class of gambling addicts,


And one of them might be a player/coach/ump, or his brother or father. That's where the game starts getting exposed.

That being said, gambling on baseball is going to be legal in a lot of states. Baseball's partnership (or lack thereof) with MGM was not going to change that. I'll see how integrated it becomes into the fan experience before passing judgment.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5798301)
the Devils opened a "William Hill Sports Lounge" at their Prudential Center in Newark on Friday night, a first of its kind (they have a presence at the Golden Knights arena in Vegas, but not a designated spot).

"lounge" is doing a lot of heavy lifting. there's just kind of an overhead sign in front of a half-dozen tables with no seats and next to a liquor bar. plus there are lots of TVs and boards with odds on winning the Stanley Cup as well as other sports currently in action.

William Hill is a renowned British bookmaking company that is not so well known in the US, though they have a big presence in Las Vegas and also partnerships with the NJ Monmouth Park racetrack sportsbook and also an Atlantic City casino.

if you're a big hockey fan who only has a vague interest in betting, you might wonder where the teller windows are at that 'lounge'. well, the state only allows that in-person gambling at racetracks and casinos.

so where is the teller? it's in your pocket; it's called a smartphone. the business play is that setting up an account with a reserve balance may produce hurdles; if you walk into this spot, the aides will helpfully walk you through the process to their app (rather than the 7 or 8 other legal ones in the state). a professional will have every app and go "line shopping" - but the casual player is liable to be content with the one downloaded on his phone for the occasional splurge.

I think the collective sentiment here that it's awfully hard to predict where this all goes is on point.

there were issues before legalization of sports betting beyond Nevada (crap, I used to watch Tim Donaghy make stupid foul calls 15 feet away from me and just figured he was a crappy ref), and there will be issues ahead.

I lean toward more online betting - and thus more ability to track bets - being a net gain (it's going to look weirder and weirder when you want to bet 5 or 6 figures with a satchel of cash). but growing government endorsement and social acceptance could produce its own new problems.

also worth noting is that NJ and DE have offered online casino gaming since 2013 (why drive to a casino when you can play slots or roulette in your jammies?). that's comparable to also-unlikely winning of parlay bets. point-spread football bettors tend to win 45 to 55 percent of their bets - no matter how talented or lame they are. on a modest $1,000 season of risks, finishing 50-50 with the same level of bet on each game likely costs you about 50 bucks.

NJ handed Pandora's Box to the US Supreme Court re sports betting, and they opened it.

"Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
   59. Sunday silence Posted: December 16, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5798302)
..wasn't that the whole point of MLB drawing bright lines in the sand to begin with--so all those things didn't have to be debated ad infinitum and parsed out on what approaches the equivalent of the subatomic level.


Continuing in that seem vein its like so many people have forgotten the arguments in the PEte Rose case. That even if Rose didnt bet against his own team, well he could have used his pitchers different. So maybe he tried harder to win game X which hurt his teams chances for other games. And so forth, all sorts of assertions and wild assed theories about how dangerous just getting near gamblers is.

Suddenly it's no big deal.

which is why that recent article that was posted about how "New gambling wave is not a Vindication of Pete Rose" is so galling. So it's not a Vindication. It's still pretty hypocritical, and also devoid of any logical consistency. Vindication is hardly the point.
   60. yest Posted: December 17, 2018 at 02:56 AM (#5798305)
Betting on a team to win, could still lead to throwing games.

Situation
Gamblers set odds as reds winning by 2 runs.
What does Pete Rose do if the reds have a one run lead in the bottom of the 9th?
   61. manchestermets Posted: December 17, 2018 at 08:05 AM (#5798312)
This isn't intended as an argument in favour of unmitigated gambling, but if I were going to get involved in spot fixing, backing walks in an individual plate appearance wouldn't be where I'd start. Have you *seen* some of the ####### dreck those bums swing at?
   62. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2018 at 08:35 AM (#5798315)
I contacted Jim about the Adidas ad a couple of days ago; he asked me to send him a screenshot which I did. Haven't heard anything since then but I'm still having the same problem in Chrome -- basically it prevents the page from loading and I have to refresh 5-10 times to get a page with a different ad.

Same, for days. But it's the politics thread that drove people away, sure.


which is why that recent article that was posted about how "New gambling wave is not a Vindication of Pete Rose" is so galling. So it's not a Vindication. It's still pretty hypocritical

I didn't read the whole article, was that part of the argument, that it wasn't? (I generally think it's a truly crappy move by mlb, because everyone is greedy.)
   63. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:48 AM (#5804053)
I think the collective sentiment here that it's awfully hard to predict where this all goes is on point.

Here's one indication of where this all goes:
The betting companies have such huge “visibility” via ubiquitous sport sponsorship, marketing and advertising, and have had a free hand for so long, that the voluntary ban is unlikely to limit the amounts being gambled, he said. The participants in his research said that once they were signed up to betting accounts and apps, the constant prompts during matches, and marketing offers, particularly offers of “free” or matched bets, were powerful encouragements to gamble.

...

McGee’s work with younger fans has led him to conclude that the marketing has “hooked” a generation into “an accelerated sports culture in which the casual staking of money is an essential accompaniment to watching the game”. He says that “a new generation of sports fans view gambling as vital to their enjoyment of sport”.
Good thing baseball doesn't have any young fans!
   64. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5804083)
Once gambling becomes openly allowable in baseball you'll see little but, if my viewing experiences from the EU are any indication. As I've mentioned earlier, almost every single commercial I see while watching fights from the UK is an advertisement for a gambling service. And when I hop on a stream a little early during soccer it's even worse, if possible. The various wheedles and gimmicks they offer to get people signed up are going to be a big hit here.

But hey, as long as MLB gets their beak wet, right?
   65. JL72 Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5804763)
NHL Data Tracking and Gambling

An interesting article on where the NHL is taking gambling and data. I could see similar stuff with baseball (and other sports) if this takes off.
   66. Greg Pope Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5804769)
almost every single commercial I see while watching fights from the UK is an advertisement for a gambling service.

A couple of years ago football had nonstop ads for Draft Kings, etc. I haven't seen those lately. I don't think the daily betting market has dried up, but I'm not sure why they're not advertising any more.


   67. JL72 Posted: January 11, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5804796)
I don't think the daily betting market has dried up, but I'm not sure why they're not advertising any more.


Part of that was so many states going after them as illegal gambling. Now that the Supreme Court has opened that up for states, I would expect them to become more present in advertising.

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