New York Yankees Criticized for Posting Prop Bet Odds on Team Social Media Account

  • The Yankees made a post celebrating a pitcher hitting his prop line
  • Nestor Cortes had an otherwise uninspiring day against the Astros
  • Gambling critics are fighting for stricter advertising regulations
  • The post came the same week Shohei Ohtani addressed his gambling scandal 
Yankees neon sign
The New York Yankees are under fire for posting prop bet odds on social media. [Image:]

Yankees under fire for prop odds

The New York Yankees are facing public backlash for including prop bet odds in a live-game update shared on a team social media account Thursday.

The Yankees’ X (formerly Twitter) account posted a video of pitcher Nestor Cortes striking out several Houston Astros players with the caption “+112 to record 5+ Ks Odds from @FDSportsbook.”

This is while the league is dealing with an investigation into a betting scandal involving Los Angeles Dodgers megastar Shohei Ohtani, whose translator allegedly stole $4.5m from him to pay off gambling debts to an illegal bookmaker.

The public hits out

The Yankees’ tweet referred to a Thursday evening matchup between the Yankees and the Houston Astros that the Pinstripers ultimately won 5-4.

Cortes, the team’s ace while Gerrit Cole is on the 60-day injured list with an elbow injury, tossed five strikeouts and allowed four earned runs in five innings. While most fans and pundits would consider that a poor game, especially for the opening day starter, it was a downright success for prop bettors that had his over.

the Yankees are also FanDuel partners

Sports betting is already firmly a critical part of professional sports, including baseball. Major League Baseball announced a multi-year partnership with FanDuel in March 2023. The Yankees are also FanDuel partners, based on another multi-year deal reached in April 2022. 

It is not a surprise to see a team support its partner with social media advertising—businesses do that all the time. However, the timing of the post combined with the public response shows that the message likely had less than its desired effect.

“Read the room,” the top reply said.

“You know, just because gambling is legal doesn’t mean you have to get in bed with it,” another X user posted.

The fight for regulation

Those in favor of stricter gambling regulations, whether that be officials, lawmakers, or regular citizens, often complain about the blurring of the lines between sports fandom and gambling. For many, the Yankees’ post is a perfect realization of their biggest fears. 

One of the areas the anti-gambling crowd targeted was promotion. Their aim was to enforce stricter regulations regarding the messaging that sports betting companies can send to customers.

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) teamed up with Richard Daynard, the lawyer behind the $206bn settlement and takedown of Big Tobacco who said there are striking similarities between sportsbook and tobacco advertising, to create a proposal with new advertising regulations, announced last week.

before the gates opened to online sports betting, this is a different product”

“This is not an attack on gambling,” Daynard said. “Whatever one thinks about gambling as it was known five years ago before the gates opened to online sports betting, this is a different product.” 

In the meantime, it’s par for the course for the Yankees to reference betting odds in their posts. New York is home to the largest sports betting market in America, one that saw legal sportsbooks handle more than $19bn in wagers in 2023.

The baseball world is still awaiting the result of the Ohtani investigation, a case with the potential to inspire massive change depending on the findings.

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