Official betting is the term used to refer to legal sports wagers that are governed by state gaming laws and overseen by a regulatory body. The laws are designed to ensure that games are fair and bettors’ funds are safe. In addition to ensuring the integrity of sports wagers, regulators also work to help prevent problem gambling and encourage responsible behavior.
The Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 opened the door for states to legalize sports betting. Since then, new markets have emerged, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Massachusetts. The first online sportsbooks are now available in many states, and more are expected to launch soon.
Once a site is licensed, it must meet the regulatory requirements of its jurisdiction. This includes ensuring that all bets are honored, customer funds are secure and that the site complies with local gaming laws. It must also have a responsible gambling program in place and offer tools to help bettors gamble responsibly.
Regulatory bodies also set minimum age and maximum stakes for sports betting. Some states even prohibit certain types of wagers, such as accumulator bets. In some cases, a player must provide documentation that proves their identity before they can bet. Other restrictions include limiting the amount that can be wagered on one team or event. Bettors must understand that they can lose more money than they win. In the event of a loss, they must have the funds to cover the bet or risk losing their entire account balance.