The term official betting refers to wagers placed with a licensed sports bookmaker in states where the sport is legal. The sports books have contracts with teams, leagues and the state’s gambling commission that allow them to accept bets on their platforms. This allows them to offer a variety of bets and enables players to have a vested interest in the outcome of the game they are watching. Those who bet on these games are more likely to be interested in the final score and the total points scored, but there are other types of bets available as well, such as moneylines, spreads and parlays.
A major scandal in baseball history took place in 1919 when professional gambler Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the Chicago White Sox to fix a World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, earning him about 1 million dollars in winnings. The tampering resulted in the White Sox losing the series, and the players involved were banned from the sport for life. Similarly, Pete Rose was banned from professional baseball for the same reason in 1989.
The National Hockey League (NHL) has not made a formal position on the issue of sports betting, though some individual NHL players have signed sponsorship deals with betting sites. The NHL also has a stipulation in its collective bargaining agreement that makes gambling on NHL games illegal. The stipulation applies to players and those who work for the league, but it does not prevent them from placing bets on non-NHL events.