In a stunning reversal for major professional sports leagues in America, the once taboo Sin City will likely host the NHL’s 31st franchise, perhaps the NFL’s Raiders, and maybe an MLB team in the not so distant future.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred recently remarked on a sports radio program that denying the expansion of the MLB to Las Vegas is so yesterday.
“I think the whole you can’t go to Vegas because there are casinos there, I mean, we passed that by a long time ago, right? There are casinos all over the place,” Manfred explained on the “Michael Kay Show” on the Yes Network. “I see Las Vegas as a viable alternative. I would not disqualify it just because of the gambling issue.”
The MLB expanded to 30 teams in 1998 with the addition of the Devil Rays and the Diamondbacks. In April, Manfred said that increasing to 32 teams is on the horizon.
Expansion into the gambling capital of America for the major professional leagues comes on the heels of the NBA’s support of legalized gambling. In 2015, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed his view on sports gambling saying that the best way for the NBA to “monitor our integrity is for betting action to move toward legal betting organizations, where it can be tracked. That’s the pragmatic approach.”