FILE - In this Monday, May 14, 2018, file photo, people make bets in the sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Nevada regulators have rejected a request from Major League Baseball to ban betting on spring training games. The Nevada Gaming Control Board says the state has the proper controls in place to minimize the league's integrity concerns. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

MLB asks Nevada to ban spring training bets; state declines

February 26, 2019 - 2:42 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada gambling regulators have rejected a request by Major League Baseball to ban betting on spring training games.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said in a letter to MLB that casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere have taken bets on exhibition baseball games for decades without problems.

The league asked for the ban on Wednesday last week, the day before the first scheduled spring training game between the Mariners and A's, which was rained out. Bryan Seeley, MLB's deputy general counsel, said in the request that wagers on spring training games carry "heightened security risks." The league says the games are "more vulnerable to manipulation" because teams are focused on getting players ready for the season, not on winning.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan responded Thursday saying sportsbooks have the proper controls in place to minimize concerns about players potentially fixing bets.

MLB acknowledged the tardiness of its request and said it planned to make similar requests in other states where sports betting has become legal since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow expansion last year.

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