As sports betting becomes more common across America, teams are looking at lucrative partnerships with bookmakers and new ways to monetize their games. In the NHL, for example, the Vegas Golden Knights have a partnership with William Hill and share their in-game betting data with the bookmaker. In addition, the league is putting 1% of all wagers into a new Youth Development and Achievement Fund that benefits college students, after-school programs and youth sports.
The NFL, meanwhile, has beefed up its in-house technology and is collaborating with regulators, sportsbooks and integrity firms to monitor the betting market for illegal bets. It is also working to expand its in-house team of investigators who probe any alleged violations. Seven NFL players and an undisclosed number of team employees were suspended this year for violating the league’s gambling rules.
While most professional sports leagues are embracing legal sports betting, some remain wary of the increased scrutiny and the risks that come with it. The NBA has a long history of issues related to betting and has drafted stricter regulations since 2022. The league has also teamed up with gaming companies to create a consortium that will help oversee sports betting and educate its players on the dangers of gambling.
Major League Baseball also has a strict rule against gambling, which is posted on dugout walls and states that any player, umpire or club or league official who places a bet of any amount during the course of their duties will be declared permanently ineligible to participate in MLB activities. This includes being banned from the Hall of Fame. One of the most famous examples of gambling infractions in baseball came in 1919, when gambler Joseph Sullivan paid eight White Sox players – Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Shoeless Joe Jackson, George Weaver, Fred McMullin, Charles Risberg, George Weigel and Claude Williams – to fix a World Series game. All eight were banned from the game for life.