Sports Betting and the Law

During the lame duck session of Congress, former Utah Senator Orrin Hatch introduced the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018. The bill would have created a federal standard for state sports betting markets. However, the act didn’t get any traction.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, also known as PASPA, was passed by Congress in 1992 with the support of the major professional U.S. sports leagues. The law was meant to prevent illegal offshore operators from operating in the U.S. However, it proved unconstitutional on Tenth Amendment grounds.

The United States has since legalized sports betting. Most states have passed sports betting legislation. In addition, regulated sportsbooks have developed consumer protection standards that make them a safer option. Ultimately, sports betting will be regulated by the state and federal governments. However, Congress has shown little interest in federal regulation.

The sports betting market is largely shaped by consumers and state and federal lawmakers. There are various stakeholders, including sports leagues, sportsbook operators, casinos, state lotteries, and tribal entities.

Sportsbooks set odds on each game based on the probability of the outcome. In general, higher probability events have higher payouts and lower probability events have lower payouts. However, there are some exceptions. For example, the NBA playoffs draw more wagers than regular season games.

Moneyline bets are the most basic type of sports wager. The implied probability of a result is represented by a moneyline. Unlike point spread bets, moneyline bets do not take into account handicaps. For example, if a team has a -2 point spread, the odds of that team winning are 2-0.