Sports betting is becoming increasingly popular in the US, and some states have taken steps to legalize it. In addition to traditional brick-and-mortar operations, many online operators have launched in some markets, including DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding legal sports betting in the country, particularly when it comes to official betting.
Official betting involves placing a wager on an event using data provided by the league. This data is used to settle bets and determine payouts, but some state laws have different rules for when it’s mandatory and when it’s optional. Some states require that official betting data be used for all Tier 1 bets, while others allow sportsbooks to grade some Tier 2 bets without it.
While the NFL and MLB lobby for state laws that require the use of official data, regulators are reluctant to adopt those requirements. The American Gaming Association supports private commercial agreements for official data and opposes legislative mandates.
Ultimately, operators and their bettors will dictate how much official data is worth. For now, most of the major US leagues have forged relationships with real-time data providers such as Sportradar and Genius Sports to collect their statistics, a relationship that’s grown alongside the industry’s appetite for legal sports betting. Those deals may prove valuable if the US industry does move to require official data for some bets in the future. But for now, operators are taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to any particular data deals.