In the US, where sports betting is legal, official betting refers to wagering on games based on data provided by a professional league. After the Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports gambling in 2018, major leagues began lobbying to require state-regulated sportsbooks to use their own data. But the leagues face a complicated balance between the desire to drive revenue and the need to protect the integrity of the game.
There are many kinds of official bets, from money lines to totals and run lines. Some bets become official at certain points in the game, such as full-game money lines that are only valid after five innings. Others are based on specific statistics, such as the number of total runs scored or whether a team will win.
Some bets have multiple winners. A “perfecta” entails picking the first two finishers in exact order; a “quinella” is the first two finishers in any order; a “trifecta box” requires picking the first three finishers in any order; and a “daily double” is picking the winners of two consecutive races.
MLB is dedicated to ensuring that fans who choose to bet have the resources they need to do so responsibly, and has worked to expand its responsible gaming efforts with new partnerships and programs. For example, postseason officials undergo a comprehensive background check that includes an examination of any criminal charges or convictions involving gambling and sports wagering. The results of this review are used to flag potential issues and evaluate risk.