Is it legal to bet on the NHL Playoffs? Betting on hockey responsibly

Apr 17, 2024

It’s an exciting time in the sports calendar, as playoffs are nearly here on both the ice and the court. In the NHL, the postseason is set to begin on April 20. It’s been a long and difficult season for the 32 teams, but the past few months will all be worth it for a chance at the Stanley Cup. But as the intensity ratchets up during playoff hockey, let’s review the legality of potentially betting on postseason hockey.

NHL and Sports Betting

Partnerships between the NHL and sportsbooks

The relationship between professional sports leagues and the sports betting industry has been complex. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman admits that he changed his opinion on the idea of regulated sports betting having a place in hockey shortly after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down in 2018. It didn’t take long for several sportsbooks to jump on the opportunity and form relationships with the league.

In 2021, DraftKings partnered with the NHL to become the “Official Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy Sports and iGaming Partner” of the league (DraftKings). In the Spring of 2022, the NHL partnered with FanDuel and BetMGM as well (BetMGM). And then not long ago, Caesars renewed their partnership with the NHL to remain a “Sports Betting and Gaming Partner” of the sport (NHL).

How popular is betting on hockey?

While it is still a popular option, betting on hockey is nowhere near the level of football or basketball. A study done by the CRG Global for Variety Intelligence Platform in October of 2022 showed people wagered more on the NFL, NBA, MLB, college football, and soccer than hockey in most months (Variety). Due to the limited scoring and fewer player prop bets available compared to other sports, gambling on hockey trails the NFL and NBA in handle by a significant margin. 

Have there been sports betting scandals or controversies in hockey?

When Commissioner Bettman opened the door for sports betting to be involved in the sport, he was optimistic about the potential. He said, “I owed it to our fans, I owed it to our clubs, to embrace the evolving world, whether it’s sports betting or changes in technology. In this day and age, you either evolve or become extinct” (Washington Post). However, he was also concerned about the possibility of integrity-threatening scandals that could come with it. 

The NHL is clear that a violation of gambling rules would result in a lengthy suspension, at minimum. And until October of 2023, the NHL had a clean record when it came to players illegally gambling. Shane Pinto, a player for the Ottawa Senators, was the first player to be suspended by the NHL for sports betting in the modern era. He was banned for 41 games, half of the regular season. Before Pinto, the last time the NHL had suspended a player for gambling was in the 1940s (NBC News).

Who is allowed to bet on the NHL Playoffs?

Location Requirements

Sports betting has been legalized in some form in over three-quarters of the country. That means if you are interested in betting on the NHL Playoffs, you must be in one of the 38 states that allow it. However, only 30 of those states have legalized online sports betting. Those locations where it’s available are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The states where you can only legally bet in person on the NHL Playoffs are Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

That leaves 12 states that have not legalized in-person or online sports betting: California, Texas, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alaska and Hawaii.

Age Requirements

If you’re interested in legally betting on the NHL Playoffs, you also have to meet the minimum age in which the state mandates. Most states in the country require individuals to be at least 21 years old to gamble online or in person, but a few states require a person to only be 18. Those states include Kentucky, Montana, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming. 

With that said, you must follow the rules of the state you are in. For example, an 18-year-old from Kentucky cannot legally bet on sports in Virginia. 

Can NHL players bet on sports?

Yes, NHL playoffs can bet on sports, as long as it is not their own. The NHL is crystal clear with its gambling policy: "Gambling on any NHL Game is prohibited” (ESPN). That means an NHL player is allowed to bet on any other sports, participate in March Madness squares, or join a fantasy sports league. As long as it is not a hockey game, NHL players can bet on it.

Responsible Gaming tips for betting on the NHL Playoffs

The NHL Playoffs begin in just a few days, which means it is a great time to remember some responsible gambling best practices. These tips should be used when gambling on any sport too, not just hockey. 

  • See sports betting as paid entertainment - only gamble what you can afford to lose

  • Learn your unit size and stick to it (a unit is generally 1-4% of your betting bankroll, it’s different for everyone)

  • Place limits on how often you use an online sports betting app or go to a casino

  • Set an amount for how much you will gamble on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis

  • NEVER chase your losses (this can lead to losing more than anticipated)

  • Don’t gamble under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Gambling Addiction Help and Treatment

Gambling addiction is a very serious and dangerous problem. Fortunately, help is available. Birches Health offers completely online treatment options to help you on the path to recovery from the comfort of home. Between tailored intake and ongoing aftercare, Birches Health will be with you every step of the way. Plus, with their team of trained specialists, 90% of patients feel an increase in quality of life after treatment.

If you believe you or someone else could benefit from the Birches Health offerings email hello@bircheshealth.com

Sources:

​​DraftKings Leans in on NHL, Becomes An Official Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy Sports and iGaming Partner of the National Hockey League, and Exclusive Integration Partner of NHL Content on Turner Sports Platforms

NHL Announces First North American Sports Betting Partners | BetMGM

NHL renews partnership with Caesars Sportsbook

The NFL Is the Most Popular Sport to Bet On

The NHL’s Gary Bettman was a sports gambling skeptic. Now he’s a convert. - The Washington Post

NHL suspends Ottawa’s Shane Pinto for 41 games for gambling

What are league rules around gambling on sports? What's forbidden, getting caught and the punishment - ESPN

The Science of Addiction

May 21, 2024

Jonathan

Family Therapy for Gambling Addiction

May 20, 2024

Jonathan

What is Residential Treatment for Gambling Addiction

May 17, 2024

Jonathan

Group Therapy for Gambling Addiction

May 16, 2024

Jonathan

Lottery Addiction: Guide to Help and Recovery 

May 15, 2024

Jonathan

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Gambling Addiction

May 15, 2024

Jonathan

10 Gambling Addiction Quotes: From Realization to Recovery

May 14, 2024

Jonathan

Help For Family Members of Gambling Addicts

May 13, 2024

Jonathan

Essential Books on Gambling Addiction

May 11, 2024

Jonathan

Is Day Trading Legal?

May 4, 2024

Jonathan

Hypnotherapy for Gambling Addiction

May 3, 2024

Jonathan

Dangerous Gaming: Dave & Buster's introduces betting on arcade games 

May 2, 2024

Jonathan

The Relationship Between Problem Gambling and Suicide

Apr 30, 2024

Jonathan

Self Help for Gambling Addiction

Apr 29, 2024

Jonathan

Can poker become an addiction?

Apr 27, 2024

Jonathan

Naltrexone for Gambling Addiction

Apr 26, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding the Stages of Gambling Addiction

Apr 25, 2024

Jonathan

What Are The Negative Effects of Gambling

Apr 22, 2024

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Intervention

Apr 20, 2024

Jonathan

Overview of 12-Step Program for Gambling Addiction 

Apr 19, 2024

Jonathan

Support Groups for Gambling Addiction

Apr 16, 2024

Jonathan

Managing Gambling Addiction Relapses

Apr 12, 2024

Jonathan

U.S. Sports Betting Statistics April 2024: Legalization, growth & addiction rising

Apr 12, 2024

Jonathan

My Mom Has a Gambling Addiction: What to Do

Apr 8, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding In-Network and Out-of-Network Providers for Behavioral Addictions

Apr 1, 2024

Jonathan

Has America become a “society of gamblers”?

Mar 28, 2024

Jonathan

How Can I Stop My Child From Gambling

Mar 27, 2024

Jonathan

Birches Health Partners with BettorEdge

Mar 20, 2024

Jonathan

Birches Health Announces Partnership with SaharaBets

Mar 19, 2024

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Rates Hit All-Time High in U.S.

Mar 13, 2024

Jonathan

Signs of Teen Gambling

Mar 13, 2024

Jonathan

Free Gambling Addiction Treatment

Feb 29, 2024

Jonathan

SNL Sports Betting sketch spotlights real Gambling Addiction issues 

Feb 26, 2024

Jonathan

New U.S. Gambling Stats: Record figures as Addiction also grows

Feb 22, 2024

Jonathan

What will be the social costs of increased gambling? Who will pay them?

Feb 19, 2024

Jonathan

Is it Legal to Bet on the Daytona 500?

Feb 16, 2024

Jonathan

Media Takes Note of America's Increase in Problem Gambling

Feb 15, 2024

Jonathan

What are the Psychological Effects of Gambling?

Jan 31, 2024

Jonathan

Is Day Trading Gambling?

Feb 11, 2024

Jonathan

What are the Different Types of Gamblers?

Feb 12, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding Behavior Disorders

Jan 23, 2024

Jonathan

The Gambling Addiction Recovery, Investment, And Treatment (GRIT) Act

Jan 14, 2024

Jonathan

What is the Cycle of Addiction and How to Break It

Jan 9, 2024

Jonathan

I Lost All My Money Gambling. What Now?

Dec 29, 2023

Jonathan

Your 2024 New Year's Resolution: Stop Sports Betting and Online Gambling

Dec 24, 2023

Elliott

Why Do Addicts Relapse?

Dec 20, 2023

Jonathan

Is Gambling a Sin?

Dec 18, 2023

Jonathan

Staging a Gambling Intervention for a Loved One

Dec 13, 2023

Jonthan

Signs of Gambling Addiction in a Spouse

Nov 30, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Divorce: Statistics and Information

Nov 26, 2023

Jonathan

What is DFS Gambling?

Nov 19, 2023

Jonathan

Addiction Specialist: Helping You Overcome Addiction

Nov 18, 2023

Jonathan

Exploring the Different Types of Gambling

Nov 8, 2023

Jonathan

Technology Addiction: Signs and Treatment

Oct 30, 2023

Jonathan

Is Options Trading Gambling?

Oct 23, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction and Treatment

Oct 16, 2023

Jonathan

Sex Addiction Treatment and Therapy Options

Oct 14, 2023

Jonathan

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Oct 7, 2023

Jonathan

Is the Stock Market Gambling?

Sep 25, 2023

Jonathan

Tips for Finding a Gambling Rehab Center

Sep 24, 2023

Jonathan

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pathological Gambling

Sep 23, 2023

Jonathan

What Causes Porn Addiction?

Sep 18, 2023

Jonathan

Video Game Addiction

Sep 16, 2023

Jonathan

Porn Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Sep 11, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms & Signs

Aug 29, 2023

Jonathan

How to Stop Online Gambling

Aug 27, 2023

Jonathan

Does Medicare Cover Gambling Rehab?

Aug 19, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Dopamine

Aug 12, 2023

Jonathan

Porn Addiction Counseling

Aug 7, 2023

Jonathan

Is Fantasy Football Gambling?

Jul 24, 2023

Jonathan

Signs of a Day Trading Problem

Jul 19, 2023

Jonathan

Why is Gambling Addictive?

Jul 18, 2023

Jonathan

The Arizona Lottery and Gambling

Jul 16, 2023

Jonathan

Is Poker Gambling?

Jul 15, 2023

Jonathan

Is Crypto Gambling?

Jul 14, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Sports Betting Among College Students

Jul 8, 2023

Jonathan

Updates made to gambling disorder across the DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-5

Updates Made to Gambling Disorder Clinical Criteria Between DSM-III, DSM-IV, and DSM-5

Jul 8, 2023

Cara Anderson

Combatting Gambling and Alcohol Addiction

Jun 30, 2023

Jonathan

Medication for Gambling Addiction

Jun 27, 2023

Jonathan

The Seven Types of Gamblers: Are You One of Them?

Jun 25, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

10 Questions to Ask If You Think Your Loved One Has a Gambling Problem

Jun 24, 2023

Cara Anderson

Las Vegas - often called the gambling capital of the world

Exploring the History of Gambling in the US

Jun 17, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Gambling Treatment in Arizona

Jun 15, 2023

Jonathan

Voluntary Self Exclusion to Stop Online Gambling

Jun 15, 2023

Cara Anderson

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Gambling Treatment?

Jun 13, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Hotline

Jun 5, 2023

Jonathan

How to Stop Gambling

Jun 1, 2023

Jonathan

Can Gambling Addiction Be Cured?

May 31, 2023

Jonathan

problem gambler worried about addiction

Why Is Gambling So Addictive?

May 30, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Medication that can cause gambling

Abilify and Compulsive Gambling

May 26, 2023

Jonathan

A man who has regained control of his life by stopping gambling and online sports betting

How to Stop Gambling: Strategies for Regaining Control

May 21, 2023

Cara Anderson

This man stopped gambling by recognizing his online sports betting problem

How to Stop Gambling and Save Money

May 18, 2023

Cara Anderson

People celebrating being free of a gambling addiction

How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction

May 16, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

The Growing Phenomenon of Cryptocurrency Addiction: What Traders Need to Know About Crypto Addiction

Cryptocurrency Addiction

May 9, 2023

Tobias Jackson

The stock market graph of a day trader who has a day trading addiction

How Day Trading Can Create a Dangerous Addiction

May 4, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Younger individuals gathered around a computer talking about a gambling addiction meme

How Addictive Memes Have Fueled Problem Gamblers

May 2, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Man in the middle of taking a Do I have a Gambling Problem Quiz

Clinical Screening Tools and Quizzes to Answer the Question: "Do I have a Gambling Problem?"

May 1, 2023

Tobias Jackson

Insurance paperwork that Birches clients do not need to go through as Birches Health handles all administrative and payment matters for them!

Insurance Coverage for Gambling Addiction in 2023

Apr 29, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Couple hugging as the man has a gambling addiction and the woman, his loved one, is able to support him through it.

Helping a Loved One with a Gambling Addiction

Apr 27, 2023

Cara Anderson

Man actualizing self care and manifesting his recovery journey from problem gambling and gambling addiction

Self Care for Problem Gamblers

Apr 26, 2023

Cara Anderson

Bad effects of glamorization of gambling in the media in films, tv shows, and podcasts

Glamorized Gambling and What To Be Aware Of

Apr 24, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Therapist offering a problem gambler gambling addiction counseling and treatment

What is Problem Gambling?

Apr 20, 2023

Elliott Rapaport