After years of opposing sports gambling, major leagues have shifted gears to seek profits from legal US sports betting. Official data and the integrity fee (or a similar royalty system) have emerged as primary fronts in the battle to shape state policy.
The term official betting refers to the use of live game data to power a sportsbook’s product. The idea is to offer better odds and higher limits than would otherwise be available. In the US, a number of states have legalized sportsbooks, including Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The number of states with legal online sports wagering is expected to grow significantly in the near future.
In the wake of SCOTUS’ decision to strike down PASPA, MLB and NFL officials have been lobbying for official data mandates in new sports betting markets. While the American Gaming Association supports private commercial agreements with leagues, it opposes legislative mandates that force operators into data contracts. Moreover, the utility and reliability of official data remain in question. Distributors such as Sportradar say they are not changing pricing based on official data mandates, but that could change if laws take effect.