If you want to place a bet on the next big MLB game, you’ll likely find yourself confronted with a long list of terms that may seem like a foreign language. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with our beginner-level guide on the ins and outs of official betting.

In the US, legal sports betting has been shaped by the presence of official data mandates. In addition to the leagues themselves, which forge commercial agreements with operators, there are two main data distributors: Sportradar and Genius Sports. Both have deals with the major US sports leagues, a relationship that has grown alongside the growing appetite for legalized sports betting.

The concept of empowering the leagues to control US sports betting data flow first surfaced in lobbying documents circulated by the NBA and MLB in February 2018, three months before the Supreme Court overturned PASPA. In May 2019, Tennessee became the first state to include an official data mandate in its sports betting law, and Illinois added a similar provision to its law on the last day of its legislative session in June 2019.

Despite industry opposition to official data mandates, the leagues have managed to secure several lucrative deals with the major US gambling operators. The emergence of these partnerships puts more pressure on lawmakers who are pondering such data requirements, which have the potential to lock down access to sports betting markets by granting one entity a monopoly over crucial information that would otherwise be freely available to all operators.