Sports Media and Gambling

Sports betting is more popular than ever, with bettors ranging from casual fans to the more experienced “sharps.” But there are still some aspects of betting that are not fully understood by those new to the game or even by many long-time sports bettors.

It used to be that there was a hard line between sports media and gambling. Television broadcasters would often cheekily mention the over/under and point spread, while personalities on shows such as Inside the NBA on TNT would make wagering-related picks. But these days the lines are much more blurry. With more people than ever watching and placing bets on games, sportsbooks have become more involved in the sport, partnering with teams to provide odds information and even working with integrity companies to monitor the betting action.

MLB’s player collective bargaining agreement states: “No person affiliated with a Major League Baseball club, whether as a player, coach, manager or employee, may place a bet on any Major League Baseball game.” However, the NHL constitution (which details everything from team ownership rules to the powers of the commissioner) also explicitly prohibits players and other employees from gambling on NHL events.

It is important to note that these rules do not necessarily restrict gambling on non-NHL events in the state of residence, or on any other legal form of sports wagering in the United States. The NCAA, for example, does not have a specific gambling policy, but its institutional or conference policies might outline time, place and manner restrictions on sports wagering.