Another day, another major sports league is becoming more friendly to sports betting.
On Wednesday, Major League Soccer released sweeping changes to its rules regarding commercial sponsorships. Previously, it had restricted spots betting and liquor companies from buying ad spots on jerseys or securing naming rights for stadiums, but that has now changed.
It seems like the major sports leagues are not far off from welcoming sports betting altogether but Major League Soccer is now at the front of the pack.
With the changes in guidelines, they will now allow each of their 24 teams to sell sponsorship spots on their jerseys to sports betting or liquor brands, if they like, or buy stadium naming rights too.
Although the MLS had been friendly to beer and wine before, they had shunned liquor. Now they’ll be more open to it as liquor brands will have the same opportunities.
Although the MLS is welcoming both sports betting and liquor brands to the fray, they made one thing clear on Wednesday: no marketing to children and young adults. They will have the opportunity to review all potential ads and marketing material to ensure that the sponsors are directing the attention to the proper audience.
Youth-sized jerseys will not be able to have any type of mention of sports betting or liquor brands, even if the uniform worn by the club has those patches. This also includes academy and youth clubs. Also, MLS players who are under the age of 21 won’t be able to appear in any alcohol or sports betting marketing.
Not only is the MLS becoming more welcoming to sports betting companies, they could also be heading to mecca of gambling – if recent reports are true.
The league is currently at 24 teams but will soon expand to 27. With the popularity of the sport, though, they have already spoken about their goals of reaching 30 teams. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has stated that multiple groups are interested in bringing an MLS team to Las Vegas and the league itself has welcomed the idea.
The report suggests that Bill Foley, who is the owner of the NHL franchise the Vegas Golden Knights, is leading the charge as he wants to have the MLS franchise play in the same stadium as the soon-to-arrive NFL franchise, the Las Vegas Raiders.
Even if that isn’t the case, it just so happens that the Las Vegas City Council voted to go ahead with the construction of Cashman Field on Wednesday. That field will be the home of the Las Vegas Lights (of the United Soccer League) but it could also be the home of the future MLS franchise too.
If it comes to fruition, it feels like there will be a brand-new reason for visiting The Strip in Vegas as three sporting franchises could be right there too.