- MLS has partnered with MGM, naming them the official sports betting partner of the league.
- MLS Commissioner Garber hopes to build a sports betting industry like that of Europe.
NEW YORK – According to the MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, he is excited about the upcoming possibilities about betting legally on the league’s games.
After securing a sponsorship deal with MGM in March, Garber went on to explain how easily it all plays out in countries like England, where soccer wagering is readily available.
“I’ve never really objected to the fact that somebody would come into the owner’s box and take a bet on a game,” Garber said about his time spent in England, in a discussion with ESPN’s Taylor Twellman.
With the 2019 MLS season just beginning and the thoughts of league expansion on everyone’s mind, Garber wanted to make sure spectators had a positive mindset about sports gambling as well.
“It’s an evolving process,” said Garber. “I think we have to see how it plays out state by state, but once the government says it’s okay, we’re certainly not going to do anything other than support it.”
The league has even given their support to the New York Red Bulls, who are about to undergo a stadium sponsorship name change. The expectations are that a gaming company will become the new sponsor, having their name upon the “Red Bull Arena” in New Jersey.
Garber is continuing to sell the idea that the movement to support legalized sports betting is more than just the money. He explained how the MLS’s motives are not revenue-driven, but rather their focus is on how to “engage more and more fans to participate, get closer to our teams, [and] to participate more deeply in our games.”
The idea that a connection between the fans and the players will only increase with the support of wagering isn’t suspected to be too far from the truth. Being able to use it as a marketing tool, the MLS would be able to increase viewership and knowledge of the game from casual fans and experienced bettors who want more wagering information.
The league, through their contract with MGM, has also developed a wagering game to be implemented this year in order to give a preview of legal sports betting to their fans. In states that have already permitted the industry, viewers will be able to guess situations that are to occur within the half, by a certain timeframe, or by the end of the match.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.