A Guide to Official Betting in Sports

official betting

In the game of sports betting, official betting refers to wagering on games with odds that are set by the state’s gaming commission or other regulatory authority. This betting can be done through land-based or online sportsbooks in states that have legalized it. The odds on these wagers are determined by a number of factors, including the expected value (EV) of the result and the likelihood that it will occur. In order to maximize profits, the bookmakers must maintain an accurate estimate of the EV and probability of each outcome.

Since the Supreme Court ruling overturned PASPA in 2018, a number of states have passed laws to authorize and regulate sports betting. Some of these states have partnered with private operators to run their sportsbooks, while others have chosen to shape the market through their state lotteries or other entities. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s important to understand the underlying principles of official betting. This guide will explore the various players who make up this complex ecosystem, from state regulators and sports leagues to commercial casinos and Native American gambling enterprises.

New Jersey

The first post-PASPA state to open legal sports betting, New Jersey made history in May 2021 by offering a full range of retail and online options. The state has a partnership with William Hill and offers both single-game bets and parlays, as well as a variety of accumulators. It also allows bettors to place wagers on both pro and college teams, although player prop bets are prohibited.


After years of lobbying, lawmakers in Oklahoma finally passed legislation allowing sports betting last October. The state launched its first legal sportsbooks in February 2022, and is one of just a few that doesn’t restrict collegiate bets. However, bettors must place their wagers in person, and the OLCC isn’t yet accepting mobile betting apps.


The home of professional football, baseball and hockey in the United States, Las Vegas is a hub for sports gambling. The city’s sportsbooks offer a wide array of wagers, from moneyline bets to futures. The nascent market in Nevada has seen high turnover, and the sportsbooks have been working to keep pace with the demand.


The state became the 19th to legalize sports betting in May 2020, and it’s now possible to place bets on both pro and college games. The only restriction is that bettors cannot place bets on in-state collegiate teams, and the market has been slow to roll out.


The Cornhusker State rolled out sports betting in September 2021, and it’s available at both land-based and online retail sportsbooks. The state’s laws allow for as many as 20 online sportsbooks, and there are several partnerships with both sports teams/venues and state tribes.

The NHL hasn’t taken a public position on sports betting, but it does have a relationship with William Hill. The league has signed sponsorships with the company, and its expansion Vegas Golden Knights team will play in a gambling-friendly city.