What Is Official Betting on Sports?

If you’re betting on sports, odds are a big part of the decision-making process. Putting money behind an outcome you believe in is called a straight bet, while betting on multiple outcomes and combining them into one bet is known as parlays. Different sports have their own rules about what’s official and what isn’t, but general betting laws are similar across markets.

In baseball, for example, a player or anyone who has a job related to the game cannot bet on it and is subject to discipline if they do. This includes managers, umpires and club or league officials. The NHL has never made a public statement on the issue, but teams in states where sports betting is legal can sign deals with bookmakers for data access and other services to monitor the betting market. Players are also required to acknowledge betting rules in their contracts.

The NFL launched a partnership with bookmakers in 2022 to track betting activity around its games and is working on a system to detect suspicious bets. In addition, the league has stepped up security in its stadiums, dedicated some of its employees to the task and partnered with integrity firms that help identify offenders. As a result, it has significantly more visibility into bets placed on its games and where they’re being made. However, it’s still not perfect. Some people who bet on sports can still find themselves suspended from the game or even permanently banned from professional sports.