Using Official League Data in US Betting

Official betting is a form of sports wagering that involves the use of official league data. It is not illegal in the United States but it is a topic that is being debated heavily.

Using Official League Data in US Betting

The NFL and MLB have been pushing for state-wide mandates to use official data in state-regulated sportsbooks, with the goal of improving transparency and integrity. They have started this push in the lead-up to the Supreme Court’s overturning of PASPA, and have been backed by sportsbook operators like MGM Resorts International and DraftKings.

Several states have adopted the idea of a tiered approach to data mandates. In Illinois, for example, the law only requires Tier 2 (in-play) bets to use official league data. In Tennessee, however, all bets must use the data.

In-play bets on outcomes, such as scores and scores-against-odds, are graded on the basis of official data and cannot be graded without it. This can cause a delay of as much as three seconds before the in-play outcome is available to the operator.

The idea of a handle-based fee for using official data remains a controversial topic among sportsbook operators. The concept of a fee that would pay for the use of official data is not in the current legal landscape, but it is an option that some distributors have suggested they may reconsider if the law moves toward a data mandate. The industry generally views such mandates as a bad policy, because it gives one party a monopoly on the market and raises questions about whether the use of official league data is in the best interest of sports fans.