Official betting refers to the rules that govern how sportsbooks settle wagers. These are the procedural policies that most sportsbooks follow to ensure fairness and ultimately keep their customers happy. These rules will vary from book to book, but most are fairly standard.
In addition to these rules, a number of leagues have their own specific rules for players and employees who are involved with betting on their own games. The NFL, MLB and NHL, for example, all prohibit their players from placing wagers on their own games. The NBA is more flexible, allowing its players to bet on any game, but only on one that doesn’t involve their own team.
It is also important to note that if you place a wager on an event, the official result must be announced before your bet can be settled. This is to protect the integrity of the sport and prevent any manipulation or fixing of a game by those who would otherwise be involved in betting.
The most famous instance of alleged sports fixing was the 1919 World Series, when Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the Chicago White Sox – Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Fred McMullin, George Weaver, Charles Risberg, and Claude Williams – around 10,000 dollars each to fix the series against the Cincinnati Reds. All eight were banned from baseball forever, and Sullivan was eventually prosecuted for gambling offenses.
Colorado was the first state to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court ruling and began taking bets in 2018. Connecticut followed suit in 2021, launching both in-person and online sportsbooks. Massachusetts sports betting launched in January of 2023, while Minnesota legislation passed and is expected to begin accepting bets next year.