What Is Official Betting?

Official betting is the term used for wagering on sports events with state-sanctioned platforms. This includes the regulated online and mobile apps that are available in most states. These are operated by casinos, racetracks and other gambling establishments that have a license from the state or jurisdiction where they operate. Typically, the only requirement is that customers be physically located within the state or jurisdiction where the platform(s) operate.

For example, a professional basketball team may have an official partnership with an online sportsbook that offers NBA games, or a football league might partner with a casino that has NFL games. This can help drive traffic to a regulated sportsbook and encourage more players to bet on the game. But these partnerships can also raise ethical concerns, especially if the team or player is leveraging their influence in order to profit from their relationship.

The National Football League has partnered with three companies to become its official sports betting partners: Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. The multi-year deals allow these companies to leverage the NFL brand and engage with fans around retail and online sports betting in the US.

Illinois passed sports betting legislation in 2019 and launched its online and mobile betting options in March 2020. At that time, the state required in-person registration, but this requirement expired in March 2021 and now sports bettors can download a sportsbook app and bet from anywhere in the state. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and PointsBet are among the online and mobile sportsbooks available in the state.