The NFL and NBA Are Pushing For Official Betting

The term “official betting” has become front and center in the sports gambling conversation as leagues seek a role as primary stakeholders and profits from US state and federal legal sports betting. They’re doing so by pushing a demand for official data mandates, which have replaced integrity fees as the leagues’ preferred mechanism to monetize their sports betting data.

A betting market for a particular game or event typically includes a money line (which states the odds that the favorite team will win outright) and an over/under (which states how many points the winner should win by). The higher the number, the more difficult it is to beat the bettors’ expectations. For example, if the Blackhawks are listed as the favorites in a game with an over/under of 6 goals, that means they must win by at least six or more goals for bettors to break even on their wager.

In Ohio, the first legal sportsbooks launched in 2021 and have since expanded to include more locations and platforms. Online sports betting is available, although a ban on in-state college games and player prop bets remains in effect. In Colorado, voters approved legal sports betting in the 2020 election and it went live in May of that year. Multiple operators were allowed to launch retail and online sportsbooks, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars.

The NFL and the NBA are both seeking to establish themselves as major players in the sports betting space. Both have forged alliances with major betting partners, and the NFL is looking to open its own sportsbook inside one of its stadiums. The NBA has a sportsbook in its New York City arena and plans to open another inside Wrigley Field this year. The NBA’s alliance with MGM demonstrates its growing commitment to establishing itself in the sports betting industry, and it will be interesting to see how this pans out in the years ahead.