Padres Infielder Receives a Lifetime Ban for Betting on Baseball

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  • Marcano is accused of betting on games involving his team
  • He would be the first active player to receive the ban in 100 years
  • The scandal comes just months after Ohtani story broke

Just as the shadow of Shohei Ohtani’s scandal began to fade, another active player now stands accused of betting on baseball.

Reports are saying that Padres’ infielder Tucupita Marcano has received a lifetime ban for betting on baseball. The utility man his accused of betting on games involving his own team when he was with the Pirates last season. The bets were flagged as suspicious by Pennsylvania sportsbooks, but it took time for them to connect it to Marcano.

Pirates VP of communications Brian Warecki told ESPN: "We are aware of the matter that's under investigation and are fully cooperating. We will refrain from further comment at this time."

MLB Rule 21 states that any player who bets on his own team automatically receives a lifetime ban from the MLB. The last to be handed down was to Pete Rose in 1989 but came while he was a manager. The last active player to receive the ban for gambling was Jimmy O’Connell in 1924, meaning Marcano is the first in 100 years.

Marcano was injured while betting on games, meaning he did not have the ability to affect the outcome. According to reports, he lost all of his wagers involving his own team.

Scandal Comes at Bad Time for Sports Betting

The effects of the Marcano scandal could be felt across the country. The scandal comes just months after Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter was found to have bet on sports using money stolen from the two-time MVP. It also comes just months after NBA player Jontay Porter received a lifetime ban for betting on games involving his team and individual states.

The trio of headline-grabbing scandals comes amid a call for increased regulations for betting sites. Those calls started after the Porter scandal and will get louder now that Marcano has received the dreaded lifetime ban.

Sportsbooks have shown little willingness to cooperate with increased regulations, causing a standoff with regulators and leading to tensions growing each month.

Length of Investigation Causes Concern

While the league was able to identify Marcano, it comes a season after the events took place. Marcano was injured when he was betting on his team, which is lucky for the MLB. Had Marcano been healthy and able to play during the season, every game the Pirates played could have been called into question, as could the legitimacy of any bets placed.

The ability of legal online sports betting operators to detect suspicious gambling is crucial to ensuring fair play. While there are a lot of eyes watching, the Marcano scandal shows that the capabilities of operators remain limited.