Sports betting has become more prevalent than ever before, a phenomenon that has opened up new revenue streams for professional leagues and lucrative partnerships with sportsbook operators. The NFL, for example, has invested heavily in its in-house technology, dedicated security personnel and partnered with integrity firms to monitor the market and identify improper bettors. It has also boosted its TV advertising spend to capitalize on the growing industry.
In baseball, the MLB’s rule against gambling is posted on every dugout wall and states that “any player, umpire or club or league official or employee who bets any sum whatsoever on any game in connection with which he has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.” The NFL also punishes players who bet while at team or league facilities by suspending them for up to a year. In addition to that, anyone found to have attempted a match-fixing bet is banned from the sport for life.
Colorado voters approved legal sports betting in 2019, and online and mobile sportsbooks began taking bets in May 2021. Pennsylvania was quick to move after the Supreme Court’s PASPA ruling, and retail sportsbooks launched in November 2018, followed by the launch of online sportsbooks at PlaySugarHouse, DraftKings and BetRivers in 2022. In October 2021, legal sports betting apps launched in Connecticut. And in Ohio, the first online sportsbooks went live in January 2023, after state legislators enacted legislation and a gambling compact with the state’s tribes was signed into law.