Ohio Gambling Regulator Stops Wagering On Alabama Baseball

Following a report warning of suspicious gambling activity, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Ohio’s lead gambling regulator, banned licensed sportsbooks in the state from accepting wagers on Alabama baseball games.

Warning letter about suspicious wagering activity:

As reported by ESPN, Las-Vegas based U.S. Integrity issued a warning letter to sportsbooks about “suspicious wagering activity” including Friday night’s Alabama-LSU game. Additionally, during the game, Alabama scored five runs in the ninth inning of an 8-6 loss to LSU, which was ranked No. 1 in the important college baseball polls while Alabama was unranked.

In this regard, in a statement, Deputy Athletic Director Jessica Paré said: “Alabama Athletics became aware of this situation Monday evening and is actively seeking information about the report.”

Furthermore, Matthew Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, sent an emergency order on Monday “prohibiting the acceptance of any wagers on University of Alabama Baseball effective immediately.” The order was first reported by ESPN.

The order also said that “one of the state’s certified independent integrity monitors notified the state about the wagers.”

Continuation of the assessment of the newly created situation:

Sports wagering has been officially legalized in 33 states, and it wasn’t instantly clear if any other states have issued similar orders.

On that note, spokeswoman for the Ohio commission Jessica Franks said on Tuesday: “We are continuing to look into the matter.” 

Additionally, in a statement, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) said that “it was aware of the situation and actively gathering additional information.”

However, the U.S. Integrity refused to comment and LSU did not respond to a request for comment.

Moreover, NCAA rules prohibit athletes and sports employees from wagering on games “and from providing information to individuals involved in or associated with any type of sports wagering activities concerning intercollegiate, amateur or professional athletics competition.”

Ohio Gambling Regulator Stops Wagering On Alabama Baseball

U.S. Integrity, according to its website, monitors “data to see if discrepancies coincide with notable player or coaching events, reveal officiating abnormalities, or are indicative of the misuse of insider information.”

Such flagging wagers often happen when there are big last minute swings in the odds, especially in a game where one team is ranked much higher than the other, according to California attorney Baird Fogel, who has experience dealing with sports wagering industry.

On that note, Fogel, co-head of the global sports practice for Eversheds Sutherland, said: “In this instance, the line, I think, moved very dramatically and the game took a very odd turn where the inferior team started to make a huge run. This could all be conjecture, it could all be a coincidence. That’s the wonder of sports betting. Sometimes weird things happen.”

Fogel added: “U.S. Integrity is one of the best in the game, and so if they flagged an anomaly and detected a discrepancy or some unusual activity, it’s a good idea to listen to them.”

FanDuel Sportsbook did not have any upcoming Alabama baseball games scheduled for betting on Tuesday.