Sports Official Betting

Official betting is front and center as US sports leagues push for a greater role in shaping legal sports betting. The leagues want to profit from the betting market, ideally via a direct share of wagers. Short of that, they are seeking a mechanism allowing them to monetize their data. This quest for official data mandates has supplanted the integrity fee as the leagues’ preferred method of getting their piece of the US market.

The question of whether athletes can bet has become a major point of contention as the NBA and NFL seek to leverage their power in legal sports betting states. Generally, players are not allowed to place bets on their own teams, though some states do allow it. This has prompted some controversy, especially in college sports, where student-athletes are more likely to develop problem gambling habits. In a September 2023 survey of NCAA campus compliance directors, 27% reported that their schools had experienced sports betting-related problems among their students.


Sports betting became legal in Iowa in 2019, with multiple sites launching that summer and continuing to operate now. State law allows for betting on pro and collegiate games, but player prop bets in collegiate games are prohibited. Efforts to get sports betting legalized in Oregon fell through this past fall, and California voters rejected two major propositions that would have opened the door for a nationwide market in November 2022.