Official betting is an innovative and valuable way for sportsbooks to increase the value of their sportsbook offerings. This is a new way for sportsbook operators to engage fans in the moment, as they watch the action unfold on television.
In-Play Betting: The Evolution of Official Data
While Nevada has operated its regulated sports betting market without mandatory use of official league data, several US states have passed laws that require it. These include Illinois and Tennessee.
The underlying philosophy behind the mandates is that they deliver a more engaging bettor experience, while saving operators money. It’s also a more accurate source of in-play information, as the leagues have a vested interest in keeping this data as close to real-time as possible.
Commercially Reasonable Terms
Both of the state laws that require data in the US contain a qualifier that allows sportsbooks to circumvent the requirement if they can demonstrate that official league data is not available at a competitive price. However, the terms for this data are largely negotiated by the leagues and are a nebulous concept at best.
Direct Ties to Retail Locations
Many of the US sports betting markets that have launched require each online bookmaker to partner with a local physical location. This not only gives the operator a local presence, but it also provides a sense of legitimacy to the site.
Despite the challenges that arise from such mandates, it’s clear that sports betting is a growing industry in the United States. It’s not impossible for operators to win against the leagues on this issue, though it’s going to take some time.