Earlier this week, San Diego Padres player Tucupita Marcano received a lifetime ban from the MLB for violating the league’s betting rules and policies. This is just the latest in a number of sports betting scandals that have rocked US professional sports in recent months.

On the latest episode of iGaming Daily, supported by Optimove, Jessica Welman, Editor of SBC Americas, and Charlie Horner, Media Manager for SBC, take a deep dive into Marcano’s ban and also provide an update on the case of the other US athlete to recently get a lifetime ban, Jontay Porter.

Jess starts by providing some background on the case and explains that Marcano was found to have placed 231 wagers on MLB markets through a licensed operator. He wagered more than $150,000 on baseball, including placing 25 wagers on the Pittsburgh Pirates while playing for the team.

Jess described Maracano as the “modern-day Pete Rose”, who was banned for life for betting on baseball while a player and manager at the Cincinnati Reds.

Talk then turns to consider whether it is a good thing that he was caught because the activity was reported by a regulated sportsbook.

Charlie said: “It does seem like this is a sign that the regulated market is working. Even though this is happening. Yeah, it’s never great that it happens in the first place, but it’s good to know that we do have those tools and protections in place that we can stop it from happening because ultimately, whether you’re betting on minor league baseball or betting on your own team, it’s still breaking the rules. It still brings the game into disrepute.”

The pair also discuss if a lifetime ban is too harsh however Jess is adamant that given the rules are so clear it’s not unreasonable for all baseball players to be able to adhere to them.

The MLB prohibits players in the league from betting on any form of baseball at any level. The same rule applies for umpires, officials and employees pf the league and its clubs. 

Staying on the theme of sports betting scandals, Jess also provides an update on the NBA’s Jontay Porter who was given a lifetime ban for betting on basketball and passing on insider information.

She explains that Porter allegedly ran up a debt with illegal bookmaker Long Phi Pham who then cooked up a scheme with Porter to sit out games as a way to clear the debts.

Pham was arrested and charged with conspiring to defraud a sports betting company. He was arrested at an airport while attempting to travel to Australia with a one-way ticket which Jess argues “doesn’t scream innocent”.

Jess gives some more information on the murky past of Pham who, according to her connections in poker, has allegedly cheated several poker players out of money by cheating in private home games. 

Ep 277: Tucupita Marcano, the modern-day Pete Rose?