Official Betting in the United States

Official betting is the term used for wagers placed on games that are sanctioned by a major sports league or association. It is possible to place a bet on any number of events, from a single match to the entire season. The odds are updated in real time, so bettors can take advantage of the latest market information.

In the United States, the popularity of sports betting has created unique issues for college athletics. The NCAA is particularly concerned that the growing prevalence of sports betting could lead to a rise in gambling problems among its athletes and staff. The NCAA has responded by implementing an e-learning module that educates athletes and others on the dangers of sports betting. The NCAA also partners with a sports-integrity monitoring company to screen for integrity concerns.

New Jersey legalized sports betting in 2019 by putting a referendum on the state ballot that allowed for wagering at casinos and racetracks. The professional sports leagues opposed the measure, and fought it in court. They won a lower-court ruling and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision, but the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case, leaving PASPA, the federal ban on sports betting, in place.

The major sports leagues have pushed for a model bill that would decouple federal oversight from the individual state regulatory framework. They have a long history of trying to influence sports betting decisions, going all the way back to the 1906 baseball fixing scandal between Joseph Sullivan and the Chicago White Sox. Pete Rose, the all-time MLB hits leader, was banned from the sport for life after a 1919 World Series wagering scheme with the Cincinnati Reds.