Sports Betting – What is Official Betting?

Official betting is a term that has emerged as a primary front in the US sports betting policy debate. Leagues and their commercial partners are seeking to profit from legal US sports betting through the use of official league data. This quest for mandates has supplanted the integrity fee as the preferred mechanism for monetizing league data.


‘Official’ league data is defined as information obtained under an agreement with the relevant governing body of a sporting event. It includes statistics, results and outcomes. It also refers to any ancillary or related data that is provided by the league.

In the US, a number of states have passed laws requiring the use of official league data for wagers made on live games. These mandates have been opposed by the industry.

The key issue in determining whether to require the use of official data is the price operators must pay. The market for official data remains a murky one. The leagues have not yet proven the value of their data, but some suggest they could change pricing if the mandates become more widespread.

A number of different markets are offered on live games including Total Runs, Money Line and Alternate Money Line. The game must go at least 9 innings (8.5 if the home team is ahead) or 7 innings in a shortened game for these to have action.

Other markets are available on a per-inning basis for the team with the highest scoring inning, as well as for team with first home run/first hit/etc. The 8.5 innings rule applies to these markets.