A request by Major League Baseball to ban betting on spring training games has been declined by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The league asked for the ban last week, the day before the first scheduled spring training game, between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s.
MLB – which has a sports betting partnership with MGM Resorts – argued that wagers on spring training games carry “heightened security risks” and are “more vulnerable to manipulation” because teams are focused on getting players ready for the season, not on winning.
In declining the request, the Board wrote: “Based on our history and experience in regulating sports wagering, we are not inclined to prohibit our licensed sports books from taking wagers on MLB Spring Training games.
“We have a common goal to combat sports bribery and maintain the integrity of your sport, and are available to discuss ways we can work together in this effort.”
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Mississippi Gaming Commission received a similar letter from MLB on Tuesday. They are considering the issue.
Betting on spring training games is low. “We have such low limits that they don’t even hit the microscope,” said one sportsbook director. “Any suspicious bets on exhibition baseball would stick out like snow in Vegas.”