MLB makes a strange request of Nevada sportsbooks
The MLB asked Nevada sportsbooks to not accept wagers on spring training games
The MLB season is gearing up, with spring training games kicking off this week. Spring training is always a fan favorite and is particularly useful to sports gamblers who use the time to start developing their analysis for the year. MLB was hoping that it could convince Nevada sportsbooks to take a knee during the spring training games and the response was exactly what you would expect from a company being told not to make money.
MLB sent a letter to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (MGCB), stating, “Spring Training games are exhibition contests in which the primary focus of Clubs and players is to prepare for the coming season rather than to win games or perform at maximum effort on every single play. These games are not conducive to betting and carry heightened integrity risks, and states should not permit bookmakers to offer bets on them. Limited and historically in-person betting on Spring Training in one state did not pose nearly the same integrity risks that widespread betting on Spring Training in multiple states will pose.”
Given that the request could resort in lost revenue, the MGCB responded politely, stating, “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.”
Pennsylvania and Mississippi also received similar letters. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) was a little more sympathetic, asking the state’s sportsbooks to hold off on offering gambling activity while the PGCB reviewed the request. Mississippi told MLB that it would consider the request, but didn’t say whether or not it would seek a gambling hiatus.