The cautionary tale of sports betting and professional sports leagues are evident in Major League Baseball. Although many teams have official betting partners, the league has strict regulations prohibiting anyone affiliated with the organization from gambling on the sport. This includes even minor league players who are associated with Major League Baseball.
As a result, any form of betting on Major League Baseball games by anyone connected to the league is strictly forbidden, including through a proxy. The league’s stance on sports betting serves as a warning to all sports organizations of the potential risks and consequences that can arise from mixing sports and gambling. This is why Peter Bayer got a long-term suspension from the organization.
Why Peter Beyers Engaged in Baseball Betting
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the world, and the sports industry was not spared. In 2020, the MLB Minor League system had to cancel its season due to the country-wide shutdown, leaving many minor league players without employment, benefits, or a source of income.
One of those players was Peter Bayer, who found himself without a contract, team, or season to play. In search of alternative means to stay connected with baseball, Bayer created an account on a licensed legal Colorado online sportsbook and started placing bets on MLB games during his free time.
While they are considered unemployed, he is still affiliated with the Oakland Athletics which leads to a long-term suspension.
“My entire life, I have spent the summers playing baseball and without competing and playing, I did not know what to do with myself. When 2020 canceled the season, a lot of us were uncertain about our careers moving forward. These were unprecedented times in which many of us weren’t thinking clearly. I made this mistake and I’ve owned up to it”.
“These were unprecedented times in which many of us weren’t thinking clearly. I made this mistake and I’ve owned up to it,” he added.
Peter Beyers, Still Suspended Next MLB Season
This suspension directly resulted from Bayer’s actions in 2020, where he gambled on MLB games while being a minor league player.
The notice Bayer received from Manfred clearly stated the reasons for his suspension and the consequences of violating any further rules during the suspension period. Manfred said:
Commissioner Rob Manfred
“I am writing in response to your application for removal from the ineligible list. I reviewed all of the materials you submitted to me. After thorough consideration, I have decided to deny your application. You may reapply to me for a potential reinstatement after the completion of the 2023 World Series.”
Bayer expressed his regret for his past actions and looks forward to serving his suspension while focusing on improving his skills for the future.
“Hopefully, the MLB is able to change their mind and allow me to pursue a career in the future.”
Gambling Rules on Other US Sports Leagues
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a strict policy against anyone affiliated with the league from gambling on NBA games. This policy applies to players, league staff, and team officials, and includes betting on or influencing the outcome of games, scores, or player performance. The NBA also prohibits advocating for others to place bets or engaging in any other form of gambling that could compromise the integrity of the game.
Similarly, the National Football League (NFL) has a strict policy that prohibits all personnel from betting on an NFL game, including prop bets. The term “personnel” encompasses all individuals working with the NFL, including players, coaches, referees, and team staff. However, NFL players are allowed to place bets on other sports while other employees of the NFL are not. These policies serve to protect the integrity of professional sports and maintain public trust in these organizations.