Are Leagues and Sportsbooks Succeeding in the War on Official Betting?

In the weeks since the Supreme Court’s ruling, official betting has emerged as one of the primary fronts in the battle for control of US sports gambling policy. Leagues seek a role as primary stakeholders in legal sports betting, and they also want to profit from it, ideally by taking a cut of all bets placed. Short of that, they’re seeking a mechanism to monetize their data, which has led them to push for official data mandates in new states.

The question is, are they succeeding?

Amid a rush to sign sportsbook partnerships, the industry’s movers and shakers are forming extensive portfolios that benefit them and the leagues they serve. In addition, some operators are attempting to bolster their position in the new world of sports betting by buying up rights to exclusive data feeds.

The problem is that such agreements – particularly those that impose data mandates – are a bad idea, as they create monopoly power for leagues and reduce the competitiveness of US sportsbooks. That’s the conclusion reached by the vast majority of sportsbook operators, as well as the industry’s largest distributors.

The NCAA, meanwhile, is aggressively lobbying lawmakers to update existing state laws to protect student-athletes from harassment and coercion, address the harms of problem gambling and ensure the integrity of their competitions. Its latest effort includes a new e-learning module that’s designed to help current and prospective student-athletes understand the issues surrounding sports betting.