Players concerned about MLB’s deals with gambling companies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The head of the baseball players’ association is worried about the sport’s increased commercial deals with sports gambling companies.

A BetMGM Retail Sportsbook opened this year at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and DraftKings is building a sports book scheduled to open next year at the southeast corner of Wrigley Field.

Union executive director Tony Clark was asked before Tuesday’s All-Star Game whether he was getting concerned with the gambling relationships, which have increased since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which outlawed sports betting.

“Getting? No. Is? Yeah. Has been? Sure,” Clark told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “We’re entering a very delicate and, dare I say, dangerous world here. We hope that it is truly beneficial for our game moving forward and that everyone who is involved benefits from it in one fashion or another. But when you have players suggest that no sooner was PASPA repealed, that they started to have book houses following them on social media, that gets you a little twitchy pretty quick.

“And so we’ll continue to pound the pavement in each of the state legislatures that are continuing to push, that have language in place and those that don’t yet that are potentially coming online, to ensure that as much as anything, our players are protected, and their families by extension, are protected as a result of the language that’s on the books despite the fact that this train has left the station.”

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