As Major League Soccer opened its season earlier this month and with it came news from MLS Commissioner Don Garber that he would not be opposed to legalized gambling.
Speaking at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Geekwire was able to catch up with him. Garber spoke at Geekwire’s Sports Tech Summit last summer.
“We have a project going on now to really dig in deeply and understand it. I’ll be the third commissioner (along with NBA’s Adam Silver and MLB’s Rob Manfred) in and say I’m very open to understanding how we can get more engaged in this market in a way that I think if done properly, can be regulated and managed and controlled. I’ll join the chorus of saying it’s time to bring it out of the dark ages. We’re doing what we can to figure out how to manage that effectively.”
In addition to this news that the MLS will be open to hearing about the possiblility of regulated gambling of its sports, he announced a Facebook streaming deal which will expand its reach across an untapped platform. The MLS will be the first league with an extended package on Facebook.
Embracing new ideas and technology are two characteristics new to leagues. The opportunity to engage with as many fans as possible is key as well as monetizing them.