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Tucupita Marcano Gets Lifetime Ban from MLB for Betting on Baseball

Jessica Aletor
Written by Jessica Aletor
June 11, 2024
Tucupita Marcano Banned by MLB for Betting on Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) player and San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano has been banned for life from baseball. The player was discovered to have placed bets on hundreds of baseball games, including fixtures of the club he was assigned to.

Marcano was found to have made 387 bets on both domestic and international baseball, with 231 of those wagers on MLB games specifically. Of the MLB bets, 25 involved the Pittsburgh Pirates, during the period he was assigned to the club and rehabbing a knee injury. The bets were for a total of more than $150,000, and $87,319 of this figure was placed on MLB games.

“We have been clear that the privilege of playing in baseball comes with a responsibility to refrain from engaging in certain types of behavior that are legal for other people.” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, explaining the reasoning behind the verdict.

Dissecting the Major League Baseball Gambling Policy

The MLB policy on gambling is posted on the wall in every team's clubhouse. This poster reminds anyone who enters of where the league stands on gambling, as well as the penalty of failure to adhere.

Rule 21 of the Major League Rules already states that players and team employees are prohibited from gambling on baseball in any form whatsoever. This includes placing wagers, or even legal bets with illegal or offshore bookmakers. The penalty is subject to such punishment as the Commissioner deems appropriate in light of the facts and circumstances of the conduct.

MLB had received data from a legal sports betting operator concerning baseball gambling activity from accounts that belonged to the player. Under the rules, players are allowed to partake in sports gambling provided that it is legal in their jurisdiction and that they do not bet on baseball.

However, upon investigation, Marcano’s bets were found in violation of the gambling rule as they were on baseball games internationally and domestically. As a penalty, the Commissioner banned the player from playing baseball for life.

The 24-year-old baseball player would however not be the first active major league player to be banned. Jimmy O’Connell was one of the first players to be banned for life under the sport’s gambling rule. Manager Pete Rose had also accepted a settlement that included a lifetime ban from baseball for betting on the Cincinnati Reds games.

Marcano’s Betting History Suggests Possible Underlying Compulsive Habits

Unfortunately, the bets that got Marcano banned from baseball for life were not even close to being worth the hurdle. The player might have simply liked the thrill of wagering, or in the alternative had a bad betting addiction. But he just wasn’t making enough money off of the bets to have continued, up till having placed over three hundred bets.

Marcano had lost nearly all of the MLB bets he placed which had gotten him banned from the MLB for life. Of all the 387 bets he had placed, he won fewer than 5% of the MLB bets he placed. Out of the 231 MLB bets he placed, he had won only 10 of them, raking in a significant 221 losses.

Notably, he lost all of the 25 bets he placed on the Pittsburgh Pirates. He bet on the team to either win or lose or on the number of runs that would be scored in the game. Marcano likely lost most of the $276,000 salary he earned while he was on the Pirates injured list by gambling it away.

Following the ban, Marcano would no longer be expected to make an awaited return from his injury to the baseball playing scene.

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