Sports Data and Official Betting

Official betting is a growing category that is taking advantage of a federal law that allows sports betting in US states. These wagers are not required to use official league data, but they can benefit from it.

The main tenet of official betting is that the odds change according to the amount of money that has been wagered on each outcome. This is a form of flexible-rate betting, similar to parimutuel wagering in horse racing and dog racing.

In the United States, a majority of state-regulated markets do not include official betting mandates in their laws. Nevada, for example, has operated its regulated sports betting market without data mandates for decades.

Several US sports leagues have forged data arrangements with companies like Sportradar and Genius Sports. These arrangements have grown as the appetite for legal sports betting has increased.

These relationships have spawned discussions about official data, which is defined as statistics, results and outcomes that are collected through commercial agreements with a sports league or its governing body.

While official data mandates are gaining steam, they are not guaranteed to produce the integrity that lawmakers seek in legal US sports betting.

A key issue to consider in any data mandate is how much the data costs. This is a question that is difficult to answer, as there is no clear cut definition of what constitutes commercially reasonable data.

Ultimately, the value of the data that a league collects will depend on the price paid by a distributor for it. The NFL and NBA have reportedly asked their distributors to peg the cost of official data at 0.25% of the total amount wagered on each league.