The Nevada Gaming Commission is rolling back a decades-old ruling that banned wagering on baseball games that are played within the borders of their state. It’s yet another example of the diminishing influence of the professional sports leagues on sports betting in the United States.

The ban, which had been in place since 1985, was a holdover from the days when professional sports team owners and their representatives feared that any professional sporting events held in the Silver State would be subject to game-fixing. Their, very flimsy, reasoning was that local gamblers and mafia dons would somehow use their proximity to sportsbooks to influence the outcomes of local games.

It was an argument that never really made sense, but it was used to prevent Nevada from having professional sports teams. That spell was broken for good in 2017 when the NHL allowed the city of Las Vegas to become home to the Las Vegas Knights hockey team back in 2017. The Knights went to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season and played without ever falling influence to the Mob.

At the meeting announcing the end of the prohibition on local baseball wagering, Commission Chairman Tony Alamo laid bare the whole fallacy of the MLB’s desire to prevent local baseball wagering saying, “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,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The lifting of the baseball ban should take place immediately and is not expected to impact local casinos in any significant manner.


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