Official betting is legal sports wagering on real-time events that are regulated by the states in which they take place. It’s an alternative to illegal gambling, and is available through licensed sportsbooks.
The most common types of bets involve football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. But there are also specialized bets in areas like horse racing and golf. In addition, a number of states offer legalized fantasy sports betting.
MLB is dedicated to ensuring that fans who choose to wager also have the tools and resources necessary to bet responsibly. That is why we are a proud partner of the American Gaming Association’s Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly campaign and a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Sportsbooks set their odds based on many different factors, such as expected winnings, home field advantage, and the weather. These odds can change throughout the day, so it’s important to check them regularly. In addition, the rules for placing a bet depend on the type of event being wagered on. For example, a team’s total must be over or under the posted line to win a moneyline bet.
If a team is listed as an underdog, the bet must win by two runs or more to cover the spread. If the underdog wins by just one run, the bet loses. This is known as a push. If the game goes into extra innings, the results of those innings are not used to settle the bet. A total bet is a bet on the total number of points scored in a game. It’s a popular bet for casual bettors, and can result in a large payout if the team is ahead by several runs at the end of the game.
A sportsbook can turn down a bet or refund a bet for a variety of reasons. For example, a player may reach first base on an error, but the official scorer later decides to make it a hit. This can affect the outcome of a bet, but the sportsbook is not required to honor the initial result.
Pro and college athletes are not allowed to gamble on sports, as it can impact their eligibility. They must sign a statement acknowledging that gambling is against league policy, and this is included in the players’ contracts. This prohibition includes betting on NFL games while at the stadium or other team facilities.
Some of the most significant betting scandals in US history have involved professional sports teams. The most famous was the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox fixed a series of baseball games for financial gain. Those caught participating in the scheme were banned from professional baseball for life. More recently, the NFL has penalized multiple players and coaches for betting on football games. For instance, the league has suspended Isaiah Rodgers and Rashod Berry of the Indianapolis Colts, and Demetrius Taylor of the Tennessee Titans.