Official betting is a new way for fans to bet on games and events in the NHL. The league has signed betting partnerships with William Hill and MGM Resorts International and is making a bigger push into states where sports gambling is legalized. The NHL also recently opened a team in Nevada, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The NHL is less vulnerable to the kinds of scandals that have plagued other sports, like college basketball and NFL betting, so it is taking a cautious approach to sports gambling.
The NHL is the only major professional sports league that hasn’t made a public stand on sports betting, but Commissioner Gary Bettman says it’s “a great opportunity for the NHL to build a brand.” The league has already signed sponsorship agreements with several bookmakers and is exploring opportunities to offer live streaming of games in the state of Nevada.
In 2022, Colorado became the first state to legalize sports betting. It started offering in-person and online wagering a month after the Supreme Court’s ruling, and it quickly established itself as a top handler among US states. However, collegiate sports and player prop bets are prohibited, which has led to a reduction in the number of wagers being placed in the state.
MLB and other sports have strict rules on betting. They partner with regulators, sportsbooks and integrity firms to monitor the market and catch offenders. They also conduct in-house investigations into alleged rule violations. A violation of these rules can lead to a lifetime ban for players and up to three years for coaches or team officials.
There are also restrictions on who can bet, with in-uniform personnel – including coaches and front-office staff – barred from placing bets while they’re at work. This includes when they’re travelling for a game, on a plane or in a hotel with the team. Moreover, postseason officials undergo rigorous screening for gambling and sports betting-related activities. This includes a review of any criminal charges or convictions related to gambling, sports betting, and other elements of deception.
The NFL has a lot of clout, and its Teflon reputation is that it’s almost impossible to bring down. But there’s still a risk, and if the league gets stung by a rigged game or an ill-advised bet, it could damage its image. The league has tried to avoid this by working closely with the betting industry and ensuring that its employees are properly educated on the risks involved in sports betting. It has also taken a more active role in catching offenders, beefing up its internal technology and dedicating security personnel to this area. This has helped the NFL catch offenders in a much more timely manner. The NFL’s efforts are paying off, with at least two NFL players – Isaiah Rodgers and Rashod Berry – suspended for betting on NFL games last year. It’s a good reminder that even the pros aren’t immune to temptation.