New MLB chief backs calls for sports betting reform in US

Ron Manfred, the newly appointed commissioner of North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB), has become the latest high-profile figure to call for sports betting reforms in the US.

Under current federal law, Nevada is the only state in the US where players are able to place bets on sporting events.

However, various figures from the government, sports industry and gambling sector have called for the US to re-consider its position over sports betting and explore the possibility of wider legislation across the country.

Manfred, who assumed his new role as commissioner of MLB in January, said that the league should consider its own stance over sports wagering and that he plans to hold meetings with team owners in order to establish its stance.

“Gambling in terms of our society has changed its presence on legalisation,” Manfred told US sports broadcaster ESPN.

“I think it’s important for there to be a conversation between me and the owners about what our institutional position will be.”

Manfred’s comments come at a time when Adam Silver, commissioner of North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA), is pushing the government to make a decision over sports betting.

In response, Manfred said he understands Silver’s stance on the issue and that his comments were enough for him to look into changing his sport’s own position over the matter.

“I understand the arguments that Adam made,” Manfred said.

“I think the most appropriate thing for me… is to wait until I’ve had a chance to deal with the owners on this topic.”

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