Sports betting is a heavily regulated industry with strict licensing regimes at the state level. US regulators will look for any indication that wagers have been placed outside of those regulations, which would be illegal. This includes any unlicensed sportsbook or operator, as well as individual bettors operating outside of their jurisdiction.
Amid growing calls for a federal ban on sports gambling, leagues have been fighting hard to shape legal US state policy. One issue they are focusing on is the role of data in sports betting and the right to monetize it. As a result, official data has emerged front and center in the conversation, supplanting the integrity fee as the leagues’ preferred method of profiting from legal US sports betting.
What is official betting?
In the short term, official betting refers to a specific type of wager that is graded on the basis of real-time data supplied by a league or other governing body. Generally speaking, that data will be sourced through distribution agreements with major players in the field such as Sportradar and Genius Sports, both of which have existing relationships with several US professional and college sports leagues.
However, the exact definition of official data is a moving target. It will depend on how the terms are defined in a given law, as each state’s regulator is free to impose a variety of requirements on sportsbooks and other providers. The law in Illinois, for instance, requires that sportsbooks use official data for Tier 2 bets. That category, in turn, defines any wager that is not a Tier 1 bet – which is a bet that is determined by the final score or outcome of a particular event.