Official betting refers to wagers placed on a sporting event that are settled based on statistics, results and other information provided by a sports league. These bets are popular in many states with legalized sports betting, including Nevada which has a long history of booking such wagers.
Despite years of opposition to gambling, US sports leagues now want to play a role in shaping state and federal policies. They are also eager to monetize their data and are seeking mechanisms to do so. Official data mandates have emerged as the preferred tool in their arsenal, supplanting integrity fees as the leagues’ primary method for driving a share of handle in legal US markets.
Mandates require sportsbooks to use official league data in grading all Tier 2 bets, which are those on specific events such as first downs, sacks and scoring plays. Tier 1 bets, which are on broader market outcomes such as the final score or winning team, can be graded without official data.
The NFL has its own unique set of rules for settling bets. In addition to standard wagering rules, bets on the game’s outcome must be officially declared before a pending bet is accepted or paid out. This includes the possibility of a replay review or other unforeseen circumstances.
Similarly, the NBA’s rules on official betting require that the flow of in-game data be restricted to those operators that have official rights. This prevents unauthorized data aggregators from using the league’s feed to create their own.