After a major legal battle, sports betting is finally available to consumers nationwide. The Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, opening up the market to individual states, which are now instituting their own legal sports wagering laws. The ruling has had a ripple effect on how the four major North American sports leagues, as well as their teams and players, associate with the industry.
The NBA, NHL and MLB have official betting partnerships with a number of sportsbooks, which allows them to offer the games, data and odds in real time. These partnerships also allow the leagues to promote the activity and provide promotional content and appearances with their players. Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was the first player to sign such an agreement with sportsbook BetGM, appearing in ads for the company alongside hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.
Despite the partnerships, the four major sports leagues still prohibit their players and team personnel from engaging in any form of gambling or betting on games in which they are involved. The leagues also impose strict rules on anyone associated with them who violates the gambling rule, which can lead to fines, yearlong suspensions or even a lifetime ban — similar to the one Pete Rose received in 1992.
Legal sports betting is currently underway in New Jersey, New York and Nevada, with Delaware, Ohio, and Indiana expected to join the ranks next year. California was poised to become the fifth legal state for sports wagering in 2021, but the two major propositions on the November ballot were voted down by voters. The state may revisit the issue in 2023 if new legislation is introduced or a ballot initiative is scheduled.
When it comes to betting on a specific outcome of a game, the sportsbooks that accept bets follow a few basic rules. For example, a bet on a winner must be officially declared at the end of regular or full time (whichever is specified in the sportsbook’s Market Rules or bet type details). This is to prevent any betting manipulation, as well as to protect the integrity of the game.
Just like any other business, sportsbooks are susceptible to mistakes from time to time. In the event of a clear error in the posted line or schedule, all bets will be void and the money will be returned to bettors. In addition, for Props involving statistical totals, the game must be played for at least 8.5 innings (unless otherwise specified) to have action on the wager. Also, unless stated in the Market Rules or bet type details, no extra innings count for Player and First to X-based Props.