Unlike public bets, official betting involves wagering on games that have been verified by the sports league. The odds are determined by using the official statistics that are publicly available on the official websites of the leagues, and they take into account factors such as weather conditions, stadium condition, and quality of opposing teams’ coaching staffs. In addition to ensuring that all bets are placed fairly, the sport’s governing bodies also monitor betting activity to identify any suspicious behavior.
In the United States, the NBA has strict rules about players and team personnel placing bets on their own games. Those who violate these rules face fines, suspension, and in some cases even permanent bans from the league. The NHL is less stringent on this issue, but it has increased in-house security and partnered with integrity firms to monitor bets made by players and team officials.
In one of the biggest baseball scandals of all time, a professional gambler named Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the Chicago White Sox (Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Fred McMullin, Charles Risberg, George Weaver, and Claude Williams) $10,000 each to throw the 1919 World Series. The scandal was so infamous that it would lead to baseball’s famous “Rule 21,” which forbids any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee from betting on any game in which they have a duty to perform. Those who break this rule are permanently banned from Major League Baseball, although most such players have been reinstated a few years later by a subsequent Commissioner of Baseball.