Official Betting and Sportsbooks

Official betting has emerged as one of the primary battlefronts in the leagues’ quest to shape US sports gambling policy. Leagues want to be primary stakeholders in legal sports betting and profit from it, ideally via a direct cut of all US wagers. They are willing to concede a lot to make that happen. They have backed off from their previous opposition to gambling, seeking to monetize the sport’s intellectual property through official data and other means.

Several states have mandated that sportsbooks use official data. Some have included a caveat that allows operators to circumvent the data requirement if they can show that such official data is not available on commercially reasonable terms. But even that qualifier doesn’t provide much of a safety net. In fact, the initial terms dictated by the leagues aren’t particularly reasonable to begin with.

In the case of NBA games, for instance, sportsbooks are required to use official data for Tier 1 wagers – those that involve the final score or outcome of the game. That means that Tier 2 wagers – those on in-game events – are not subject to the same data requirements.

Sportsbooks offer a wide range of bets, including futures and money lines for individual teams. In addition, many sportsbooks offer a variety of props, which are bets on aspects of a game. For example, some bets on championship games will be settled based on the team that immediately lifts the trophy.