Official Betting Data Mandates

Official betting is a growing part of the legal sports betting landscape in the United States. As sportsbooks seek to make a profit, they are turning to the leagues for help. In exchange, the leagues are seeking a share of the overall wagering amount.

A key piece of that strategy involves data, which has been a major issue for state-regulated US sportsbooks since 2018. The battle over control of data and what data is required has emerged as a primary front in the effort to shape state policy.

The leagues have begun lobbying for mandated use of official data in state-regulated sports betting. These mandates essentially force private operators into commercial agreements with the leagues while granting one party what amounts to a monopoly on data.

Why are official data mandates a bad idea?

Unlike integrity fees, which are paid by bookmakers in exchange for the right to take action on a team, official data mandates can create artificial constraints on how the market operates. They also require that distributors offer the data at commercially reasonable terms, a nebulous concept with no precedent to judge its validity.

The first state to require official data was Tennessee, which launched in-play wagering in February of 2019. It also includes a data restriction in its law that bars books from offering player props on in-state college teams.