Major League Baseball (MLB) governance has confirmed that it will not allow its associated players to participate in any daily fantasy sports play. The governing body’s actions have been approved by the Baseball players association in order to uphold the sports integrity.
MLB governance stated that it saw a clear distinction between daily fantasy sports and sports betting, a subject matter that has caused much debate among US professional sports leagues. All forms of fantasy sports will now be attached to a reformed Rule 21, which prohibits players from betting.
However the MLB will allow players to promote fantasy sports product and services, and will additionally allow its players to participate in fantasy sports games that have no monetary prize attached
At present the MLB is a key partner to daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings, last week the governance body extended its marketing services contract with the Boston based start-up allowing for further coverage and exclusive promotions.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred commented on the body’s decision
“There is a clear legal line and, quite frankly, we spent some considerable effort and money to make sure we knew where DraftKings is in relation to that line and we’re very comfortable with the idea that it’s fantasy. Having said that, fantasy is a very important method of engagement, particularly with younger people.”
In March, Commissioner Manfred stated that the MLB was open to discussing legalised sports betting with other US pro leagues, stating that it was time for US professional sports to progress and debate sports betting as a key agenda.