With sports betting now legal in some US states, there’s a growing amount of data available for players to wager on. But, with so much information out there, it’s important for bettors to understand the different terms involved. One of those terms is official betting, which refers to wagers placed on events based on the information provided by official sources of the leagues.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are no state-mandated requirements for using official league data. Rather, it is up to operators to negotiate commercial agreements with the leagues to secure access to the data they need. This arrangement allows each operator to determine what price point is commercially reasonable for the data. The initial terms set by the leagues are often high, but this is to be expected given the lack of precedent on which to judge such costs.
As a result, many lawmakers are pushing back against attempts to mandate the use of official league data in their regulated sportsbooks. The American Gaming Association supports private commercial agreements for data but opposes legislative mandates for its member operators.
The NBA’s Dan Spillane has been promoting official data as the “one true source” of betting information, but that claim is misleading. Nevada has operated its regulated sportsbook without such data for decades, and there’s legitimate debate about the utility and reliability of such information in the context of betting.