In a legal sports betting world, official betting refers to a wager on an outcome in which the odds of that outcome are set by a sport’s governing body. Almost all legal sports betting is based on official data and the use of this information is closely regulated by state and federal gambling laws. The term “official” is used because the governing bodies want to ensure that bettors are placing bets on genuine data and not false information.
The National Hockey League (NHL) was one of the first pro leagues to embrace sports betting after it opened its Vegas Golden Knights franchise in 2017; the NHL has since signed sponsorship agreements with William Hill and MGM Resorts International that include betting partnerships. The NHL also allows teams in states where sports betting is legal to have their own in-house partnerships.
While there are many different types of bets available for fans, sports betting is generally a risk-reward proposition. Betting on an individual team to win a game is called a money line bet. If the team you bet on wins by more than a certain amount, you get paid. If the team loses by more than a certain amount, you lose your bet. If you combine multiple bets in a parlay, you can potentially earn higher payouts.
In baseball, a rule known as the “Rule 21” prohibits players, umpires and club or league officials from placing bets on any game in which they participate. Those who violate the rule are permanently banned from Major League Baseball, although most people who have been banned for this reason have eventually been reinstated.