Awaiting Supreme Court decision, pro sports leagues prepare for legal betting

Across Florida and Arizona, professional baseball teams are prepping for the inevitable surprises of a 162-game season. Players and coaches use spring training to limit the unknown variables, and this year so is Major League Baseball.

By the season’s midpoint, fans in certain states might be able to place legal bets on baseball games, and MLB officials knew they couldn’t afford to wait to start preparing. So players from every team are getting an enhanced education this spring on sports gambling, as are coaches and umpires.

Some time before July — perhaps as early as Tuesday — the Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling that could drastically alter sports gambling in the United States, possibly striking down the 25-year-old federal law that largely prohibits sports bets outside of Nevada or maybe allowing individual states to decide for themselves whether fans should be permitted to wager on games.

“We’re realistic that sports betting in all likelihood is going to expand in the United States,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on a conference call with reporters last week.

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