In horse racing, the money for a wager is placed into pools that get distributed to winning bettors. In parimutuel betting, win bets, exacta bets and other types of bets get combined into a single pool before the race starts. The track then takes out administrative fees and returns the rest to bettors, based on their placement in the pool.
The concept of official betting is relatively new to sports, but it has already spawned some interesting partnerships. Sportsbooks often partner with sports leagues, a natural alignment that allows them to use the official data and logos/branding from those sports. This provides a level of visibility into bets that could otherwise go unnoticed, and allows the sportsbook to make better informed wagering decisions.
There are also partnerships between sportsbooks and teams, a more recent development that has come about as the general public becomes more comfortable with legalized sports gambling. In these cases, the sportsbook will partner with a particular team or sporting event in order to attract bettors that might not have had access to the product previously.
Athletes aren’t required to sign any documents acknowledging that they know that gambling is illegal, but the NFL has been working to create more transparency around sports betting. For example, it recently announced that it will work with integrity firms and sportsbooks to identify offenders. The NFL is also beefing up in-house technology to help track and identify suspicious betting activity.