The Essentials of Legal Sports Betting

official betting

The emergence of legal sports betting has opened up new opportunities for bettors to cash in on the action. While the sport of choice and wagering type may vary from player to player, there are a number of essentials that every bettors should understand.

The official result of a game or event is considered to be the final determination for all purposes, including settlement of wagers. This includes determining the podium position in a motor race, medal ceremonies in athletics, and the official winner of an event (excluding sports that are decided by a tie-breaker or other special rules). A wager is only considered a winning bet if it is placed on an event with an official result.

For Props involving statistical totals, the game must be played for at least 8.5 innings (unless otherwise specified) in order for wagers to have action. In the case of First to X-based props, the specified player must be in the starting lineup for wagers to have action.

Each of the major North American professional sports leagues has a partnership with gambling companies to enable their bet products. These partnerships allow the companies to use official league data and logos for marketing purposes, as well as offer players ambassador roles where they appear in advertisements or other promotional activities for the brands they represent. Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid became the first NHL player to sign such an agreement with betting company BetGM in 2022.

While the idea of placing bets on a favorite team or individual has been around for years, the rise of legal sports betting in the United States has brought new options to the table for fans and casual bettors alike. The Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, opening up sports betting to more than 30 states.

State-level detail on types of wagering allowed, key regulations, legal retail and online/mobile sportsbooks, and more.

*Legal, not yet operational: Sports betting has been passed into law, but the sportsbooks have not launched or are still in development. ***Legal, but not yet operational: Sports betting has been launched, but is subject to regulatory approval and/or ballot initiatives.

If a bet is placed on an event that is later cancelled or postponed, the wager will be refunded. The cancellation or postponement must be officially announced by the sportsbook prior to the start of play for the bet to be valid. This is often noted by a “CANCELED” message or similar on the sportsbook’s website. Sportsbooks are operated by humans, and mistakes can occasionally happen. If a bet is placed on an incorrectly posted line, scheduled time or maximum bet amount, any bets will be deemed no action and the wagers will be refunded accordingly. Similarly, if the game is played before its official start time, all bets will be considered no action and all money will be returned. For more information, see the official sportsbook rules.