MLB Request to Prohibit Spring Training Betting Denied

MLB Request to Prohibit Spring Training Betting Denied

Just the other day, Major League Baseball (MLB) sent a request to the Nevada Gaming Control (NGC) Board.

The hand-written request asked for their spring training games to be taken down from their sportsbooks.

Today the NGC responded with an expected, no.

The written denial read,

"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 NGC began in 1959 and consists of five members. Those five members are appointed by the Governor, each serving a four-year term. One of the five members acts as the Chairman.

According to the NGC, their primary responsibilities are...

"...acting on the recommendations of the Board in licensing matters and ruling upon work permit appeal cases. The Commission is the final authority on licensing matters, having the ability to approve, restrict, limit, condition, deny, revoke or suspend any gaming license."

MLB's Concerns

MLB's request was to see all their spring training games taken off of regulated sporting betting sites.

The concern MLB has is that spring training games are nothing more than exhibitions.

Since the games are meaningless, MLB claims that the lack of effort expected from athletes jeopardizes the integrity.

Countless exhibition games have always been available to bet on, such as the NBA All-Star Game or the NFL Pro Bowl.

Despite the concern over spring training games being exhibitions, locations seem to play a big part in the baseball brand's fear.

MLB feels that exhibition games in more than one state aren't ideal for sport betting, believing it is difficult to regulate.

MLB Misleading?

It should be noted that despite various venues and cities used during spring training, it is only played in two states.

Florida hosts the Grapefruit League while Arizona hosts the Cactus League, each with 15 MLB teams.

More interesting enough is that on Wednesday, the Mississippi Gaming Commission revealed they haven't received any request from MLB to prohibit bets in spring training - despite offering wagers as of now.

Spring training runs through most of March until the opening day arrives on Mar. 20, played in Tokyo, Japan.

The Tokyo series will feature the Seattle Mariners facing the Oakland Athletics, in what's ironically enough an event sponsored by MGM Resorts.

All the games will be played inside the Tokyo Dome over the course of five days. This is the first initiative of a partnership between the two, made official in the winter of last year.

The Athletics and Mariners will both wear sponsored patches on their jerseys, but that will only be for international events.