In a historic deal, Major League Baseball has signed an agreement with lottery company Equilottery Games, to allow lottery-style betting based on the outcomes of MLB games. It wasn’t all that long ago that any talk of betting and baseball in the same sentence were strictly prohibited. Remember, this is the sport that has very notably banned legends from the game for betting. Both Shoeless Joe Jackson and hit King Pete Rose were banned from MLB for life for betting-related scandals.
So, this announcement that Major League Baseball will now not only openly support legalized betting on baseball games, they are now directly profiting from it, is somewhat shocking. However, as legalized betting spreads across the country with the supreme court ruling that PASPA was unconstitutional, you can expect more and more of these announcements to come soon. In this article, we will breakdown everything we know about this new agreement.
Who Is EquiLottery Games?
EquiLottery Games is a company that is revolutionizing both lottery-based games and sports betting. The company has already signed deals for lottery games based on horse racing, called Win Place Show. And they are also rolling out a lottery game based on auto racing in an agreement with Speedway Motorsports. Now they are jumping into big-time sports leagues with the deal with Major League Baseball.
How Does It Work?
EquiLottery Games describes the game as an officially licensed lottery draw game based on the outcome of Major League Baseball games and it is being advertised as a game of pure chance. Players will buy a ticket for $5 and will get a ten-team ticket with the winning teams randomly selected, similar to a lottery quick pick ticket. This is where we see the lottery style differing from traditional sports betting, players cannot select the winners, it is all completely random.
Depending on the outcome of games, you will either win or lose. Players must get at least seven out of the ten games right to win any money with the payouts getting bigger as you win more games, and if you get all ten games correct, you can win up to $1,000!
There isn’t a clear answer to this question just yet as the product was just announced, and as it is a state-based lottery, they will have to gain approval from each specific state that it would be offered in. That can be a bit of a slow process, but the company thinks they can get it up and running in at least one state before the start of baseball season next year in late March.
EquiLottery has their horse racing product piloting right now in Kentucky, so it would make sense to launch their first as they have existing relationships with the regulators in that state, but your guess is as good as mine as to just when and where you will be able to buy a Baseball Bucks ticket.
What Do I Think?
I have mixed emotions about this product. Clearly, this is not aimed at sharp betting sports bettors. We don’t want people to get this confused with a traditional baseball parlay. This is basically an old school numbers game that is centered around baseball scores. I can’t imagine that I will ever personally be buying a Baseball Bucks ticket. And as many of you that come here to The Sports Geek for your betting advice are also looking for an edge, you will also likely stay away from Baseball Bucks.
But that doesn’t mean this is all bad, it just isn’t meant for us. As more forms of legalized sports betting spread across the country, everyone is going to want to get their piece of the pie. This product would be a great way for someone that has, for whatever reason, never been able to try a traditional sports bet and just wants some quick action, to get into the game.
And the fact that Major League Baseball is on board is a big deal, and it could open the door for future products centered around betting, and that is good for the industry. And anything that is good for the betting industry is good for the betting community. The more mainstream that betting on sports gets, the better for everyone involved. Any way that we can get sports betting away from its smoky backroom bookies beginnings is good for sports betting, and this, in a small way, does just that.
Even with the vast expansion of sports betting that is sweeping across the country, there are still only thirteen states that are taking sports bets right now. That number should increase by the time that Baseball Bucks officially launches, but even then, there are some states that probably won’t ever have any form of legalized sports betting.
Meaning that this could be the only way that people in some states get to have any legal action on Major League Baseball. So, for those of us that are lucky enough to live in states that have legalized sports betting, this will likely not have much appeal outside of very casual bettors and MLB fans. But for those of you that are in states that refuse to get on the legalized sports betting train, this could be away to get in on the action!
So, while I will not personally be getting in on the Baseball Bucks action, I think it is a move in the right direction for both Major league Baseball and sports betting. Anything that can make betting on sports more mainstream is always good, and while there won’t be any way to handicap the action or find an edge, it could end up being a lot of fun. So, be on the lookout for Baseball Bucks coming to a state near you soon!