The MLB Lovehates Gambling Jarred Cosart has been under fire for the past few weeks while he was being investigated for certain gambling-related statements he made on Twitter (truly a bastion of the most intelligent, well-thought-out discourse the Internet has to offer this side of YouTube comments). Some of the comments made in private messages between himself and a friend referred to over/under bets and sporting bets. This, in itself, isn’t problematic as MLB players can bet on sports, but the MLB was forced to investigate to ensure that he had not been betting on MLB games. The Miami Marlins pitcher, if he had been found to have been betting on MLB games, would have been suspended. If he’d been betting on his own games, he’d be going the way of Pete Rose. Fortunately, he wasn’t gambling on MLB games. Unfortunately, he has been fined for some nondescript shady gambling with illegal bookies. Since the MLB won’t release details, we’re free to imagine Cosart in a smoky room filled with mob bosses and intrigue. Oddly, just weeks after the MLB started the investigation on Cosart they’ve decided to sign a deal with DraftKings that will allow them to rake in ridiculous amounts of cash from gambling. While it’s understandable that the MLB would frown on illegal gambling and the conflict-of-interest style gambling that could make players throw games, they seem to be okay with taking yet another cut of the MLB fans’ money. This wouldn’t be so odd except for the MLB’s stance on run-of-the-mill sports betting, which is generally illegal. In short: they’re not for it. When asked why they’re okay with fantasy sports betting but not traditional sports betting, a spokesperson for the MLB simply said that it is because fantasy leagues are legal. While that’s fine as a standpoint, it ‘s curious that they aren’t teaming up with the NBA in pushing for all sports betting to be legalized. It may be due to the fact that the MLB has some fairly easy to name controversies surrounding less-than-savory betting in the past and likely wants to distance itself from those types of affairs. While the NBA does have a few betting scandals (like the 2007 referee scandal), none of them have catchy names like The Black Sox. Quebec Wants to Legally Impose a Conflict of Interest A strange budget proposal has been being pushed through the government of Quebec in recent days. In the budget, the providence stated that it would like to make Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block access to various gambling websites that are to be drawn up by none other than Loto-Quebec. For those that don’t know, Loto-Quebec is one of the ways that the government of Quebec makes additional funds. How do they make these funds? Through gaming websites (like EspaceJeux.com). To the astute observer (or the casual passerby) it may seem fishy to allow the arm of the government that directly benefits from gambling websites to censor gambling websites. To some it may be akin to putting a lion in charge of a zebra cage. Obviously, this is a big concern to everyone except Loto-Quebec and some members of Quebec’s government. Loto-Quebec predicts that, should government censorship of competing businesses (also known as a government-instated monopoly) go through, it would generate somewhere between $13 million and $14 million in 2016-2017 and somewhere just shy of $30 million after that. The proponents of this government ban on competition spin their viewpoint in a different way by asserting that illegal websites pose a kind of public health risk, increasing various nonspecific societal ills and other “won’t someone just think of the children” type of rhetoric. ISPs, on the other hand, don’t want the blocks to go into effect because it would put the neutrality of ISPs in jeopardy. He also stated that he felt that ISPs should act less like commercial enterprises or arms of the government and more like utilities. Earlier this year, the United States adopted that same outlook on the Internet with the FCC stating that it will be regulated like a utility and preventing ISPs from blocking or slowing traffic to certain websites based on the whims of commercial enterprises. This came on the back end of a very lengthy and heated debate about the state of net neutrality. This exact conversation may be where Quebec is heading with their discussions regarding Loto-Quebec and the use of ISPs. Although this instance is just focused on gaming and gambling in Quebec, the decision will set a precedent for the Canadian government and may have quite far reaching ramifications regarding the use and censorship of the Internet by the provincial and national governments.