Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer said he is ready to back legalized sports betting in the U.S. if it is properly regulated.
The MLS commissioner was in Austin, Texas on Saturday for a 1-on-1 fireside chat at SXSW, the annual conference that features a bevy of top sports leaders talking about how technology is changing their respective games, according to a press release from the American Gaming Association.
“We have a project going on now to really dig in deeply and understand it. I’ll be the third commissioner (along with NBA’s Adam Silver and MLB’s Rob Manfred) in and say I’m very open to understanding how we can get more engaged in this market in a way that I think if done properly, can be regulated and managed and controlled. I’ll join the chorus of saying it’s time to bring it out of the dark ages,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to figure out how to manage that effectively.”
Sports betting is banned in all but a handful of states in the U.S. A report this month from the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged the Federal government to legalize sports betting. The report says eliminating the ban would generate tax revenue and help professional and amateur sports leagues bolster the integrity of games because bettors and bookmakers would have a vested financial interest in a game’s outcome.