Sports Betting Integrity Initiative

If you like to bet on sports, you’ve probably seen odds on games and props — those non-game events that go on around a game — like how long the national anthem will be at the Super Bowl or what color Gatorade will get dumped on a winning coach. For some big games, you can even bet on how many seconds will pass before someone starts booing at the opposing team. While these bets aren’t technically part of the game, they are still legal and have gained popularity in recent years.

Official betting is one way that sportsbooks can boost their revenue. It’s not uncommon for a large bookmaker to add lines for these bets. The lines are usually posted early on the day of the game and will remain unchanged for the entire duration of the contest. Some bookmakers offer a full menu of official betting options, including futures, moneyline and spread bets, while others limit the available markets to a few popular prop bets.

Betting on professional and collegiate teams is currently allowed in New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia. In addition to these states, Pennsylvania and Ohio have launched online betting and in-person sportsbooks.

Despite the recent influx of revenue, the NFL has been largely successful in keeping the public and its players happy with its current stance on sports betting. The league’s reputation as Teflon and too big to fail has kept people betting on its games, but if there was ever something that could knock the NFL off its pedestal, it would be a betting scandal.

While the NFL doesn’t have any control over how people bet on its games, it does have some say in the types of bets that are offered. For instance, the NFL prohibits bets that could have an adverse effect on a player’s health or welfare, and it doesn’t allow bets to be placed on college or high school teams.

The NCAA has also started a sports betting integrity initiative that includes an e-learning module that educates student-athletes about problem gambling, as well as a network of contacts to prevent and detect integrity concerns including federal and state law enforcement, gaming operators and campus administrators. The association has also teamed with the National Council for Responsible Gaming to develop a first-of-its-kind research project on sports betting and the impact it could have on college students’ health and academic performance.

Missourian Brett Koenig drives 45 minutes from his suburban St. Louis home to the Chicago area if he wants to place a bet on sports. The reason? He can’t use his smartphone to access a sportsbook. Using geolocation technology, a number of 280,000 devices in the state were blocked when trying to visit sites offering sports betting from June through mid-December.