Why Was Marcano Banned, But Ohtani Remained Untouched?

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Sports Betting Shohei Ohtani

Tucupita Marcano of the San Diego Padres was issued a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball following his involvement in betting on baseball. The Marcano case, however, is not the biggest MLB sports betting investigation. Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani also saw his name embroiled in a sports betting scandal. However, Ohtani has received no punishment from the league.

There are clear differences in the circumstances regarding each case. Let’s take a look and compare these MLB sports betting investigations.

Tucupita Marcano Sports Betting Case Examined: Why Was He Banned?

Marcano had been found to have wagered more than $150,000 on baseball games in October 2022 and from July to November 2023. In total, Marcano placed 231 MLB-related bets, with 25 of those wagers being on his own team at the time, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This directly violated the MLB Gambling Policy which states: “Any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform, shall be declared permanently ineligible.

As a member of the Pirates, even though Marcano was injured and unable to play at the time, he violated this rule. The MLB banned Marcano because of the clear rule violations.

A similar case occurred with MLB hit leader Pete Rose, who was banned from the MLB in 1989 while he was manager for the Cincinnati Reds. Following an MLB investigation, Rose was discovered to have wagered on his own team. Pete Rose was a legend in the MLB and remains out of the Hall of Fame due to this gambling scandal, despite holding the all-time record for hits.

Shohei Ohtani Sports Betting Case Examined: Why Wasn’t He Banned?

In Shohei Ohtani’s case, the star pitcher did not violate any MLB gambling rule. Shohei’s translator, Ippei Mizuhara, was found to have illegally wired upwards of $16 million from the Japanese star’s account. This money was then used to pay off gambling debts.

A federal investigation took place, and Ohtani was deemed a victim in this case. Mizuhara also pleaded guilty to bank fraud. The former translator told to a judge that he took the funds from Ohtani’s account without his knowledge. He now faces up to 33 years behind bars.

The federal investigation, alongside the MLB’s own investigation, absolved Ohtani of any involvement in the sports betting scheme. Therefore, despite the massive publicity surrounding the case, Ohtani was not punished by the league.

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