The tumultuous world of sports betting has brought some interesting developments, and one that we’re watching closely is the aforementioned “war over data.” What it boils down to is this: sports leagues want legal sportsbooks to pay for their information. They’re pitching it (dishonestly) as necessary to preserve integrity, but the truth is that it’s largely about monetization. It’s an issue we’ve covered extensively at Sports Handle.

Illinois and Tennessee are mandating the use of official league data, while the NFL and NHL have taken a softer approach to it. We’ll see how this plays out in the long run, as we’ve already started to see the NBA and MLB get more aggressive in their efforts to impose this data requirement.

In Virginia, the first brand to launch was FanDuel in partnership with the Washington football team on Jan. 22, 2021. Since then, DraftKings, BetMGM, William Hill, The Greenbrier, BetRivers, Caesars, Unibet and Bally Bet have all rolled out in the state. More brands will launch over time, including PointsBet and bet365.

The state’s lottery commission shapes the market, and it has also issued a set of rules that prohibit betting on games in which a youth or Virginia college sports team is participating. It does not, however, prohibit wagering on other games in a multigame event, tournament or series in which the youth sports or Virginia college sports teams participate. Those games must be part of a state-regulated betting product.