Rob Manfred became the second major American sports commissioner recently to open up the conversation on legalized sports gambling in the United States.

Speaking to ESPN’s Outside the Lines (via David Purdum of, the MLB head revealed his desire to at least connect with fellow commissioners to gauge where everyone stands so leagues can build a more unified front.

“Gambling in terms of our society has changed its presence on legalization, and I think it’s important for there to be a conversation between me and the owners about what our institutional position will be,” he said.

Manfred is following the lead of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who’s been very proactive about at least weighing the benefits and drawbacks of sports betting.

Silver said in ESPN The Magazine (via Purdum):

I have talked to the commissioners in the other leagues about [legalizing sports betting]. I leave it to them to make any public statements they want to make on it. I will say that certainly all of them are interested in having a better understanding of the issue, and I know have assigned people in their organizations to study intensively the issue as well.

Back in September 2014, Silver talked at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit about how he views sports betting as an unavoidable fate for professional sports.

It would certainly be interesting to see how those inside baseball would react regarding a wider push to legalize sports gambling. Pete Rose remains persona non grata for gambling on baseball, while members of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox are still banned for their roles in throwing the 1919 World Series.

Having just officially taken over for Bud Selig a few weeks ago, Manfred doesn’t seem fazed about tackling some of the biggest issues surrounding MLB.

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