Official betting is a regulated form of sports wagering that does not involve a handle-based fee. It is regulated and legal in several countries, including the United States.
In-play bettors need fast, reliable data in order to score winning tickets. Sportradar and Genius Sports are two of the biggest providers of real-time sports betting data in the industry.
While some states have introduced official league data mandates into their laws, it is important to note that Nevada has operated a regulated sports betting market without these data restrictions for decades. The state has also never paid a “handle-based” fee to the leagues for the use of their games.
The leagues argue that the utility and reliability of official data are unproven, making it difficult to justify a mandate. Moreover, the cost of providing official data may not be commercially reasonable, as distributors suggest.
Nevertheless, the idea of empowering the leagues to control US sports betting data flow has been a key part of lobbying efforts. In February 2018, three months before PASPA was repealed, the NBA and MLB circulated a draft proposal that included an integrity fee and a requirement for official league data.
However, the idea of requiring a monopoly on official league data has since sparked strong opposition from the industry. In fact, some privately suggest that operators could reevaluate their pricing structure if they were forced to comply with such mandates. The industry sees this as a blatant conflict of interest between the leagues and private operators.