New Jersey denies MLB’s request to prohibit spring training wagers

By Matthew Enderby

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has denied Major League Baseball’s (MLB) request to avoid offering betting lines on spring training games.

MLB had asked New Jersey and other states that have launched legal sports betting, including Pennsylvania and Nevada, to drop pre-season games from its sportsbooks.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is yet to produce a formal response but did encourage operators not to offer lines for the time being.

Nevada rejected the request, however, and it is no surprise to see an active sports wagering state such as New Jersey take a similar stance.

The request was borne out of a belief exhibition games are more vulnerable to manipulation, due to the involvement of minor league teams and the larger than normal number of players in squads.

MLB is not the only league to try and exert influence on the betting lines set at sportsbooks.

The NFL previously proposed retaining control of bet types by requesting federal sports betting legislation. It has backed off, though, and is now only asking West Virginia legislators for the chance to consult on similar matters.

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