After the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting, states are scrambling to launch regulated books. Many of those markets will feature the Super Bowl, March Madness college basketball and other marquee events, but the world of legal betting is much broader than that. Regulated Massachusetts sportsbooks, for example, will offer wagers on everything from Australian rules football to volleyball and from golf to floorball.
For new bettors, the smorgasbord of betting options can be overwhelming. It’s a good idea to start with the basics and work your way up from there. For example, you can place an “if bet,” which is a series of straight bets joined together by an if clause that determines the wager process. The if bet is settled as soon as the first selection meets all of the associated conditions. The next bet in the if bet sequence will have action as long as that second selection meets all of the conditions and so on.
Another way to make your bets more profitable is to place a “multiple.” This type of bet allows you to place multiple bets on one event with the same amount of money. It’s similar to a parlay bet, but it can be even more lucrative. To create a multiple bet, select two or more selections from the sportsbook’s list of available events. You can then enter the number of units you want to wager on each bet and the amount of money you’d like to win if all of your bets hit.
It’s also important to understand the limitations of legal sports betting and how it differs from illegal gambling. The biggest difference is that legal sports betting is regulated by the state and conducted at licensed establishments. This means that players and bettors can feel confident that the games are fairly governed by the laws of the land.
Those regulations include the ability to track and record all wagers. This data is used to ensure that the integrity of the game is maintained, as well as to prevent match-fixing and other crimes. Those records are kept for five years and are available to law enforcement agencies, sportsbooks and independent monitors. In addition, officials are screened before and after each season to look for criminal charges or convictions related to gambling or sports wagering.
NBA players and other league employees are prohibited from placing bets on their team or the league. This does not, however, apply to bets on non-NBA events or in-game betting. In addition, players must sign a statement acknowledging the rules of sports betting as part of their contract. It’s unlikely that any other professional or college league will follow the lead of the NBA on this issue, though, as player unions would likely fight a mandated use of official data.