How Rare Is The Alabama Baseball Ban Among Pennsylvania Sportsbooks?

Written By Corey Sharp on May 4, 2023 - Last Updated on May 5, 2023
Alabama baseball is banned from PA sportsbooks, as well as in two additional states.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) advised PA online sportsbooks to not accept bets on Alabama men’s baseball games until further notice.

Pennsylvania is the third state to impose a betting ban on Alabama baseball.

Although college baseball is obviously not the most popular sport to bet on, the occurrence of not accepting wagers on a particular sporting event is rare for the state and PGCB.

What’s happening with betting on Alabama baseball?

It’s somewhat unclear what exactly is going on with Alabama men’s baseball. On Monday, Ohio became one of the first states to prohibit wagers on the collegiate team. The only explanation the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) gave was “suspicious wagering activity” involving an Alabama-LSU game last week.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board notified of two bets made in Cincinnati, Ohio, both involving an LSU victory:

  • A parlay involving the Alabama-LSU game
  • A large moneyline wager on LSU

The PGCB took similar steps to the OCCC. Doug Harbach, PGCB Director of Communications, made this statement to PlayPennsylvania:

“As a matter of precaution, the Gaming Control Board today advised that wagering on Alabama men’s baseball is not permitted in Pennsylvania until further notice.”

Alabama fired head baseball coach Brad Bohannon on Thursday. The school said in a statement for “among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.”

According to an ESPN report, the customer who placed the wagers communicated with Bohannon at the time the bets were made.

Banning markets is a rare occurrence at PA sportsbooks

Taking a specific game or event off the board completely is a rare occurrence for the PGCB.

Harbach did not note any previous instance of a game/event getting stripped from a PA sportsbook due to suspicious activity. However, in a different situation, the PGCB banned bets on a boxing match involving Oscar De La Hoya, Vitor Belfort and Evander Holyfield.

Here is Harbach’s explanation on that situation:

“In that instance, Oscar De La Hoya was scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort. De La Hoya had to pull out at the last minute. He was replaced by Evander Holyfield and the fight was moved from California to Florida on short notice because Holyfield was not licensed in CA. As the fight time drew closer, it was unclear if the match would be sanctioned and judged in Florida. So also in an abundance of caution, PA sportsbooks were informed that wagering on this fight would not be permitted.”

After the PGCB instructed sportsbooks not to take bets on the fight, BetMGM Sportsbook PA accepted 76 wagers on it. The PGCB fined BetMGM $7,500 in December 2022 for the infraction.

Photo by Vasha Hunt / AP
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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