Official Betting and the Use of Data in Sports Betting

Official betting is the wagering on results that are officially announced by the governing bodies of sports. It can include odds on a game’s winner or the total number of runs scored by the team. It is also the basis of some props and if bets.

The use of official data has grown in recent years as leagues seek a role in US sports betting policy. This quest has led to the emergence of a battle over control over the flow of data and what data is required.

Throughout 2018, a number of US state legislators have incorporated mandated use of official league data in their legislation. In June, Illinois became the second US state to incorporate such a requirement into law.

In Tennessee, which was the first state to legalize sports betting in 2018, a similar data mandate has been included in the law. The law divides the use of data into tiers: a tier 1 bet uses official data for all outcomes, including the final score; a tier 2 bet uses official data for wagers involving live events.

The use of tiers has led to some legal questions regarding how operators are able to grade wagers using official league data and what they should pay for it. Operators can circumvent a data requirement by showing that the data they are using is not being offered at commercially reasonable terms, a concept that may seem a little nebulous to some observers.