Nevada nixes MLB request to halt spring training bets
Gaming regulators in Nevada are rejecting a request from Major League Baseball (MLB) to stop taking bets on spring training games. It’s the latest example of a professional sports league making an absurd demand to the gaming industry, and getting rebuffed in the process.
According to a report from the Associated Press, MLB officials made the request last week, just a week before spring training commenced, asking that Nevada sportsbooks not take any action on spring training games. The reason you ask? According to MLB deputy general counsel Bryan Seeley, spring training games are particularly vulnerable to manipulation reasoning that, “Spring Training games provide greater opportunity for the misuse of inside information. The outcome of games sometimes depends heavily on non-public managerial decisions that are made in advance and are independent of Club or player performance, such as how many innings a pitcher will throw or in which inning Minor League players will replace Major League players.”
That may well be true, the Nevada Gaming Control Board responded, but cancelling all bets on the games isn’t the solution. A representative of the Board pointed out that irregularities in betting patterns are usually picked up by sportsbooks very quickly.
What the MLB doesn’t acknowledge is that wagering on spring training games is micro-demographic of the sports betting world and accounts for practically nothing in the way of profits for casinos or bettors. The AP points out that the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook only posted 20 spring training games, and only two of those had more than $200 in action on them.
Furthermore, the limit on any single wager on a spring training game is only $1,000. This makes the likelihood of profitable game fixing seem extremely remote. It’s almost as if the sportsbooks in Nevada had already figured out this idea all on their with no help from the MLB.
Betting on MLB spring training games is expected to continue without further interference from the worry warts at the MLB.