Sports Betting Laws and the NCAA

PURDUM: Before the Supreme Court ruling, sports leagues were fearful that legalized betting could lead to more attempts at game-fixing and other compromises to attract bettors. Now, they are embracing it, even opening their own sportsbooks inside stadiums. It seems like a complete 180.

Among the most hotly debated topics in legal US sports betting is the issue of official data. The leagues want regulators to require that sportsbooks use official data in grading wagers, a request they have pushed since the SCOTUS ruling. That effort has largely replaced their original proposal for an integrity fee.

The leagues argue that their data is more reliable than the data collected by third parties. They also claim that a mandate will ensure that bettors receive accurate information. But the industry is skeptical about the value of official data and about legislative mandates that force private operators to forge commercial agreements with the leagues.

Sportsbooks that use official data are required to display odds in a clear and conspicuous manner. The odds are based on the expected probability of each team or individual winning a particular event. If the odds are displayed with a plus sign preceding them, the team or player is favored to win. If the odds are listed with a minus sign, the team or player is underdog to win.

In 2023, the NCAA will advocate for laws and regulations that protect student-athletes from harassment by bettors, address the negative impact of problem gambling, and preserve the integrity of its competitions. The NCAA also will push for the development of new sportsbook betting technologies that will allow bettors to place bets on the outcome of games in a fair and consistent manner.