Baseball is as American as apple pie and the MLB plans to keep it that way. With the threat of sports betting taking away the family atmosphere of the sport, the MLB has taken steps to make sure that the integrity of the sport stays intact in the face of the millions of dollars that exchange hands throughout the season both legally and illegally. The MLB states that the steps they are taking now are not prompted by any specific event or incident; it is simply to keep the fun and family nature in the sport that everyone loves so much.
Keeping the Game Honest
The MLB started monitoring the gambling that occurs on the games throughout the season through the services of a London-based company. This third party analyzes the bets that take place throughout the season with algorithms and software to determine if anything “fishy” is going on. This is not because of any suspicious activity or any hunches that someone is corrupt. It is simply a way to keep track of the trends and to see how people are viewing the game. If there happens to be a chart that gets drawn up that seems abnormal, red flags will be raised and officials will begin to investigate in an effort to keep the game honest. All reports are provided to the MLB, giving them the opportunity to determine if any investigations need to be started or if it is just the nature of the game that is occurring.
The number one reason that baseball betting is being tracked is to avoid corruption. With baseball being the number one sport to bet on, the possibilities are there. There is $897 million bet on baseball every year, not to mention the illegal funds that exchange hands in the name of baseball. The closest sport to this large amount of money in the betting arena is football, at just $1.7 million. The vast difference shows the opportunities for baseball officials to be easily swayed in the face of large amounts of money. Essentially, the monitoring of the baseball betting is to be proactive – to prevent games that are fixed to go one way or another or to prohibit the competition.
Looking for Clues
Baseball betting can be easily swayed by outside factors, such as weather predictions and sudden injuries, which is another reason the MLB wants to keep tabs on the betting. If betting suddenly swings one way or another in a dramatic fashion, the baseball community can tend to start to predict unfairness. In all honesty, however, it is often due to outside factors that change the outcome of a game. In order to keep the integrity of the game and protect the character of the players, the MLB investigates the reasons the bets on a game would suddenly change so much.
The fact that the MLB is involved in the betting actions of the game is not anything negative or anything to worry about. If anything, it is a positive approach to an activity that can ruin the face of a sport. With baseball being one of the most popular sports in the country, every step must be taken to maintain its integrity. In the wake of the Biogenesis case, where many baseball players were accused of consuming illegal substances, the MLB needs to take a stance in order to ensure that the game does not lose its popularity or its honest stance in the gaming industry. Baseball will continue to be a family sport that the country relies on every spring and summer.