Official betting refers to wagers based on statistics, results and other information provided by a sport’s governing body. It has become a popular way to place bets in states where sportsbooks offer legal, regulated gambling. But the industry and major sports leagues have been at odds over how to monetize data and protect integrity.
In horse racing, hitting an “exacta” entails picking the first two finishers in exact order; a “quinella” is the same but allows you to choose any two of three; a “trifecta box” picks the first three finishes in either order; and a “superfecta” requires choosing the first four in any order. Hitting these types of bets is not easy, but can lead to enormous payouts if you hit them.
MLB has a similar system in place for bettors, with the league’s co-exclusive official gaming partner FanDuel announcing a multi-year deal. The US gambling giant already works with the NFL, NBA, NHL, PGA Tour and WTA in similar pacts.
The NFL has a different policy, in that its players and those working for the team or league can only bet on non-NFL events, but not on games taking place at their own facilities or while traveling for business. That rule is not posted anywhere on the league’s website, however. The NFL has also suspended several players for violating its betting policy in recent years, including former Lions receiver Quintez Cephus and free-agent Isaiah Rodgers. In addition, the league has banned more than 40 student-athletes from Iowa and Iowa State for alleged betting violations.