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Don Garber: MLS ready to embrace legalized sports gambling

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Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber is ready to embrace legalized sports gambling.

"I've been to a lot of games in England," Garber said in a short Q&A before D.C. United hosted Atlanta United on Sunday evening. "I've never really objected to the fact that somebody would come into the owner's box and take a bet on a game.

"If people are going to do it, you might as well manage it, organize it. You might as well generate tax revenue for it and find ways that the league could use it as a marketing tool to have people engage more with our players and our clubs."

The commissioner said he thinks the value of legalized gambling will be to bring the fans closer to the sport and help attract a wider audience.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing for Major League Soccer as it relates to the potential of legalized sports betting is not necessarily revenue-driven," he said. "It's how do we engage more and more fans to participate, to get closer to our teams, to participate more deeply in our games."

Garber also addressed a report that the naming rights to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey are potentially going to be purchased by a gaming company.

"If there's a possibility with a gaming company naming one of our stadiums, I'm all for it," he said. "We're in the process of getting close to a major league-wide sponsorship with a respected gaming company, and I'm very supportive of that as have the other leagues.

"It's an evolving process. I think we have to see how it plays out state by state, but once the government says it's okay, we're certainly not going to do anything other than support it."