Now that sports betting has gone legal and mainstream in a growing number of states, there are rules to follow. This is true for both sportsbooks and bettors. If you want to operate a sportsbook or place bets in legal and safe fashion, there are some things to be aware of.
Many of the rules are of the common-sense variety. For example, a sportsbook has to be licensed by the state it wants to operate in, and users have to be of minimum age. Rules also go much deeper than that and cover all of the ins and outs. While rules can seem like a hassle, the bottom line is that they’re there to protect sportsbooks and their customers.
Our guide to sports betting rules in New York will cover everything you need to know. On the user side, we’ll walk through who can and can’t play, what you need to know about bet settlement and placement and more. We’ll also explain what sportsbooks have to do before being able to set up shop.
Sports betting rules in New York
As with any other law, sports betting legislation doesn’t happen overnight. While things are generally clear-cut when unveiled to the public, there’s a lot that goes into getting to that point behind the scenes. For sportsbooks that have gone through the application process, that means the following:
- Sports betting licenses are limited to brick-and-mortar casinos.
- They can partner with outside vendors to handle operations.
- Sportsbooks are taxed at a rate of 10% on gross wagering handle.
And if you want to bet at legal NY sportsbooks, you need to check off some boxes. Here are the parameters that you need to meet.
- You must be 21 or older.
- You cannot be a member of any self-exclusion lists for wagering.
- You cannot have a direct relation to a sport — athlete, official, management, etc.
Lastly, the legislation to date covers retail sports betting. Online and mobile wagering is not allowed in NY as of yet, but there are hopes that it will be before too long. In the meantime, New York residents can take advantage of the more flexible betting environments in neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
House rules for NY sportsbooks
Each sportsbook has its own set of house rules that are readily accessible to users. The rules cover various aspects of wagering, as well as details on how the sportsbook will handle certain circumstances. In essence, the rules lay everything out in a bid to limit potential disputes while covering the liability of the sportsbook. Let’s take a look at the top points.
Placement and settlement of wagers
At its simplest form, sports betting involves placing wagers and having them settled once the game or event is final. These are basic functions for sportsbooks that most users don’t put too much thought into. As long as they can place bets with ease and have them settled quickly, they’re good to go.
Naturally, questions will still come up at times. That’s where the house rules come in. Placement and settlement terms for wagers are clearly laid out. Typically, you can find the basic information about how a bet works in the FAQ section, while the house rules cover everything in more detail. Here are some top points you need to be aware of:
- Bets will be locked in at the odds for the outcome at the time you placed your wager. While the numbers may move from there, settlement will be based on the listed odds.
- All placed bets in advance of a contest will be considered live once it gets underway. Some sportsbooks allow you to cash out early, but actual settlement doesn’t take place until the result is final.
- For games and events that are slightly delayed, the bet may still remain live if it’s expected to be completed in a reasonable timeframe. For contests that are canceled outright, bets will be voided and refunded.
- Settlement is based on official league results and data. The sportsbook won’t entertain any disputes on an outcome that a user disagrees with. It will pay out winning wagers promptly once the result is final.
This covers most of the main points on settlement and placement. There’s a lot of crossover, so many rules are commonplace across the industry. That said, it’s still important to review the rules at the books you play on to know exactly what to expect.
Rules for different bet types
Since each of the main bet types has its own nuances, it should come as no surprise that there are specific sportsbook rules and regulations for each of them. If you take the time to learn how the bets work, you’ll be good to go for the most part. Key points to remember for the main wagers include:
- Moneylines: Bets are settled based on the result. If the game is not played to completion or a result can’t be determined, the wager will be a push.
- Point spreads, teasers and pleasers: The side you choose has to cover the spread for a bet to win. In the event of a result being exactly equal to the spread, it’s a push.
- Totals: Similar to spreads, you need a result for settlement. Bets that land exactly on the listed number will be treated as a push.
- Player props: If a player is active, a sportsbook will consider props on that athlete to be live. It will void bets in the event of a scratch prior to the event getting underway.
- Parlays: You must be correct on all selections for the bet to win. If one of the selections results in a push while the others win, returns will adjust accordingly.
- Futures: In the event of a complete cancellation of a season or event, sportsbooks will void any futures markets and refund any bets.
Some books do a good job on the educational front, with a clear-cut listing of how each bet works, while others could use some improvement. Regardless, knowing how wagers function is your responsibility, so make sure you know what you’re wagering on.
More on player props: NBA player props – NFL player props – NHL player props – MLB player props
Sport-specific betting rules
All sports aren’t created equal. There are differences for each of them, and that can extend to the wagering side of things. Learning the main betting rules is half the battle, but you’ll still want to dig in on specific circumstances that may impact the sports you want to bet on. Key points to be aware of by sport include:
- Betting on baseball: A minimum number of innings is necessary for the game to count. This can vary by wager, so check the rules for specifics. There’s also a listed pitcher option that will void the wager if there’s a change in starter.
- Betting on hockey: Bets can be for regulation time only or include overtime and the shootout. The book will clearly list which one it uses, so make sure you know what you’re choosing.
- Betting on soccer: Similar to hockey with bet types for regulation time only or including any extra play. There are also double chance bets where you can choose two outcomes on the same wager.
- Betting on golf: The typical requirement is for 36 holes of a tournament to be complete before results are official. The standard tourney is 72 holes, so this covers events shortened due to weather or other circumstances.
- Betting on tennis: At least one set needs to be completed for a match to be official at most books. Take the time to review how settlement is handled for walkovers, retirements, etc. Also, changes in venue or surface will not impact placed wagers.
- Betting on NASCAR: If a race is shortened by weather but still official, then the book will treat those results as final. The exception comes for various props that may require the full race to be completed, so consult the sportsbook for specifics.
- Betting on fights: UFC, boxing and MMA matches that are delayed from the initial date may still be considered live for up to 30 days. If a fighter is replaced or scratched, then sportsbooks will void and refund wagers on that fight.
For football, basketball and all team-based sports that make player props available, a key area to watch out for is how sportsbooks treat player injuries. If the athlete doesn’t suit up or is scratched before a game, it’s a simple void. However, things can get tricky outside of that, so take the time to review the rules.
Other sports betting rules
While we’ve covered many of the top points here, sportsbooks don’t stop with the basics. For each sport, there’s a house rule that covers pretty much everything you can think of. Many of them are for situations that may only come up rarely, but books tend to err to the side of caution.
Familiarizing yourself with the rules can be quick, and it’s worth the effort since it may save you some confusion or headaches down the road. For sports that you plan on making a focal point, it’s a good idea to review the house rules from top to bottom. When you’re only interested in a specific bet type, learn all that you can on that bet.
General sportsbook terms and conditions
When you create an account at an online sportsbook, there’s a set of terms and conditions that you have to agree to. You’ll find the same thing when you create an account with websites in other industries, as well, so it’s nothing out of the norm.
There are generally paragraphs and paragraphs of information, and few will actually take the time to read all of it. The terms and conditions basically spell out the relationship between the book and you, as in who is responsible for what and other circumstances. For a complete drilldown, the terms and conditions cover the sportsbook on the liability end.
It can be quite the litigious world out there, so corporations such as sportsbooks have to shield themselves from potential problems. At a minimum, scan through the terms and conditions when signing up and note the different sections. If there’s anything specific that jumps out to you, you can always contact sportsbook support for clarification after signing up.
Where to find the rules at online sportsbooks
You can find sportsbook rules in a few different spots. When signing up, you’ll have to check off a box that says you understand the terms and conditions. There’s also typically a dedicated link on the sportsbook’s main web page to the full terms and conditions so you can review them in full at a later date, or take the time to scroll through while signing up.
Many books also have a dedicated section for house rules. Once you click on that, you’ll arrive at a general page, and there’s usually specific information for each sport. The FAQ and help sections are also spots to look for the rules. There are lots of common questions that come up often, so books do their best to make the answers accessible.
Also, lean on the help and FAQ sections as necessary for clarity on issues you may be unfamiliar with. Some books do an excellent job here with detailed information and examples. Once again, don’t hesitate to contact customer support for additional insight and direction.
Sports Betting Basics
What to remember about NY sportsbook betting rules
All New York sportsbooks have rules in place that cover how you wager, the way they pay winning bets and much more. There are house rules for each specific sport and bet type, as well as general terms and conditions for use. In order to place wagers in New York, you must be 21 or older, not affiliated with the sport you want to bet on and not subject to self-exclusion.
Sportsbooks also have rules to follow, many of which they covered while going through the approval process. Their rules are in place for the protection of consumers. As they conduct business, they have to keep customer funds and data safe, pay tax on revenues up to a certain amount and more.
Those looking to bet on sports should at least have a general understanding of the rules. You should take the time to review sports you plan to wager on, how the bets you’re interested in work, and what the deal is with placement and settlement of wagers. By having a good handle on these things, you’ll know what to expect and avoid unpleasant surprises.