Major League Baseball has, at times, had an uncomfortable relationship with the gambling industry through its history.
More than a century ago, in 1919, eight players with the Chicago White Sox were banned for life, including the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson, for allegedly throwing the World Series for $5,000 each.
They were not reinstated despite being acquitted in court. Jackson set a record in the 1919 World Series with 12 base hits and he did not commit any errors.
Then there was Pete Rose, who remains the all-time leader in base hits, who was banned from the game in 1989 after Sports Illustrated revealed that he had bet on games. Charlie Hustle, as he was called, is still not eligible for the Hall of Fame.
In spite of that history, Major League Baseball has made an about-face on gambling.
Today, Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc. announced a multiyear deal to become an authorized gaming operator for the league.
This means it will join six other authorized sports-betting providers in having access to Major League Baseballs' data, league marks, and logos for its mobile sports-betting app, theScore Bet.
"We're thrilled to work with MLB, helping bring our fans an even deeper experience as we begin our multistate expansion of theScore Bet," CEO and founder John Levy said in a company statement. "We know our fans are eager to watch and bet on America's pastime, and we'll be ready to bring them a best-in-class integrated media and betting offering when play resumes and for seasons to come."
The league and theScore say they will collaborate "to protect the integrity of MLB games".
Score Media and Gaming Inc. is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange, closing at $0.74 on June 29.
Through the first two quarters of this fiscal year, the company posted revenues of $15.9 million and a loss of $13.5 million before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
As of February 29, 2020, it had cash and cash equivalents of $21.5 million.