FanDuel has been named an Authorized Gaming Operator of MLB, giving it the ability to use MLB data, marks and logos across its online sports betting products and retail sportsbook locations. This marks FanDuel’s first partnership with Major League Baseball or an MLB team.
Amidst the rise of legalized sports betting in the United States, MLB has been cautious in seeking out a path to monetization. Historically, there has been an aversion to betting of any kind in baseball, going back to the 1919 World Series and gambler Arnold Rothstein’s success in fixing the results. Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle were temporarily suspended from the game by Bowie Kuhn for their roles as greeters for Atlantic City casinos. And Pete Rose was suspended for life after betting on the outcomes of games—a penalty he is still serving.
In November 2018 MLB signed a deal with MGM Resorts International to become the sport’s first official gaming partner, sharing advanced stats with the gambling giant and working on a plan to protect the integrity of the game both on and off the field. The league more recently signed a deal with DraftKings that allowed it to become an Authorized Gaming Operator, and has now struck a similar partnership with FanDuel.
“Fantasy sports and sports betting have become a national pastime in their own right, so it’s natural to join forces with Major League Baseball,” Kip Levin, President & COO, FanDuel Group said in a press statement. “MLB clearly understands how working together can be beneficial for baseball fans and both companies alike.”
“FanDuel has proven itself to be a leader in the sports betting space and has shifted a step ahead again through its commitment to, and recognition of, the value in being an authorized gaming operator,” Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive Vice President, Gaming & New Business Ventures, said in a press statement. “Now having access to our official sports betting data feeds and MLB brands, we’re looking forward to the creative sports betting and fan experience innovations FanDuel will develop.”
“Baseball is one of the most popular sports to bet on and partnering with MLB allows us to make the betting experience even better for our customers,” said Levin. “With an enhanced betting experience, sports fans are watching more baseball as they have a stake in the game.”
As noted, there has been a rise in legalized sports betting in the United States. That has come after a May 2018 ruling by the Supreme Court to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, which banned sports betting under most circumstances (exempting Nevada, where sports books are legal). That decision has effectively paved the way for individual states to legalize sports betting,