What is Official Betting?

With 34 states plus Washington, DC, now legalizing sports betting, it’s a safe bet that the industry will continue to grow. This expansion brings new challenges, especially for college athletics programs, which have to balance the interests of their athletes with the integrity of their games.

What is official betting?

Official betting is an activity where bettors place bets on a game that has been certified by a regulatory body. Depending on the jurisdiction, this could mean an official bookmaker or another type of operator. These bettors are usually required to have a license, and they must use official data provided by the league in order to ensure that their bets are valid.

While gambling on the NFL is technically illegal, the league has been able to catch offenders by beefing up in-house technology, dedicating security personnel and partnering with sportsbooks and integrity firms to monitor the betting market and identify improper bets. Those efforts appear to be paying off, as the NFL has suspended several players this year for violating its betting policy.

The most common violations involve betting on a game while at a team facility or on an NFL-related event, such as the draft or combine. Other violations include seeking, offering or accepting a bribe to fix a game or event, and providing inside information that would be used for betting purposes. These kinds of rules are reminiscent of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, when professional gambler Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the Chicago White Sox to lose the World Series.