After years of fighting against state-sanctioned sports betting, Major League Baseball has decided to dive into the gambling world on its own.
MLB entered into an agreement with EquiLottery Games to develop an “officially-licensed lottery draw game” by the name of Baseball Bucks. The news went public on September 10.
As a result of this deal, MLB becomes the first professional league in the US to directly involve itself with a lottery draw game.
So now, following years of fighting against similar legalized gambling, MLB has its own product on which the public can gamble.
Baseball Bucks in the EquiLottery Game
The multi-year agreement between the two parties, which did not disclose financial terms, allows Baseball Bucks to use the official brand marks and logos of MLB and all 30 of its teams.
Users purchase a $5 “quick pick ticket” that includes 10 games from that day’s slate of MLB regular-season games with randomly selected winners. A winning ticket must have at least seven winning teams. The game features four prize tiers with winnings up to $1,000. Odds of winning run as low as 6 to 1, while a perfect ticket (10 winning teams) holds odds of 1,024 to 1.
Baseball Bucks will operate similarly to number-based lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball. While EquiLottery said Baseball Bucks resembles a “pure game of chance,” it “appeals to a different kind of lottery player than traditional sports gaming,” according to the release.
Before Baseball Bucks hits the market, EquiLottery must receive approval from individual state lotteries. That said, the game could go live in 2020.
What they’re saying about Baseball Bucks
The idea behind Baseball Bucks revolves primarily around fan engagement, according to the release. Officials hope it will appeal to more casual fans that do not take part in legalized sports betting.
“We are always aiming to work with partners who share our goal of providing innovative ways for fans to engage with live games,” Kenny Gersh, MLB executive vice president of gaming and new business ventures, said in a release.
“Baseball Bucks is a completely new gaming opportunity for lottery players and baseball fans. We’re looking forward to working with Brad and EquiLottery Games to bring Baseball Bucks to as many jurisdictions as we can.”
As a bonus, the agreement allows EquiLottery and MLB to “potentially collaborate” on other lottery games based on live baseball. EquiLottery already has a foot in a similar door, as it has already developed Win Place Show (based on live horse racing) and has entered into a partnership with Speedway Motorsports for an auto racing game.
“We are pleased to be working with one of the most iconic leagues in professional sports worldwide,” EquiLottery CEO Brad Cummings said. “We have already hit the ground running and the early response from lotteries to Baseball Bucks has been exceedingly positive. … As with all of our games, Baseball Bucks is designed to be a win for all parties involved.”