A Beginner’s Guide to Legal Sports Betting
Sports betting is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. It’s also one of the most complex, with many rules and nuances that aren’t well understood by casual fans or even some “sharps,” as more experienced bettors are called. This article will provide a beginner-level breakdown of the basics, so you can get started with confidence.
In the United States, legal sports betting is regulated by state law, with the majority of states choosing to authorize and regulate their own sportsbooks. Most states offer online sports betting, with some allowing in-person gambling as well. Some states also have mobile apps for placing bets on the go. The sportsbooks must register with the state, pay taxes, and maintain records of all bets placed. They must also offer fair and responsible gaming.
New Jersey was among the first states to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, and it was followed by Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Kentucky introduced in-person betting on Sept. 7, 2023, and online sports betting on Sept. 28. It currently offers eight online sports books, including SugarHouse and its sister sites DraftKings and BetRivers.
Under the state’s sports betting laws, “covered persons” include players; team staff members, including coaches and managers; officials, referees, and umpires; medical professionals who provide services to athletes and teams; and personnel associated with clubs, leagues, and athletic associations. In addition, covered persons cannot advertise or promote sports betting activities, either directly or indirectly. This includes social media posts, television and radio commercials, and online promotions.
The rules allow for a minimum of four and up to 12 sportsbooks in each licensed jurisdiction. In addition, sportsbooks can offset their loss and manage risk through a liquidity pool established in the Commonwealth or another jurisdiction. This liquidity pool must be approved by the Director, and the permit holder must disclose any such arrangement with the Board.
When it comes to sports betting, the odds are a key factor. These are the chances that a particular bet will win, and they are determined by the bookmakers. The lower the odds, the more likely a bet will be a winner. However, the odds can be misleading because they do not take into account factors such as weather and injury concerns.
Another way to determine the likelihood of a bet winning is to look at the spread. The spread is the difference in the odds on a team or player to win and the total number of points scored. If the spread is greater than zero, then a bet on that team or player will be a push, meaning the bet was not successful. A bet on the underdog will win if the spread is negative. This is known as an ‘over/under’ bet. Usually, an over/under bet is more popular than a straight bet. This is because it gives the bettor the opportunity to win more money if the team or player wins.