NBA and MLB both want a cut of the betting handle from licensed sportsbooks, but are unsure exactly what that would look like. The leagues have been seeking to secure such an agreement through off-the-top payments, sometimes referred to as an integrity fee, royalty, or compensation. But with so many other factors to consider, such as grace periods and pricing models, it’s hard to say what exactly would happen if the leagues were able to secure an off-the-top betting deal.
For now, the leagues have refused to license sportsbooks that use data feeds from unofficial sources, such as the Statcast data that measures batted-ball velocity and home run distance. The leagues’ financial demands have led some to argue that using unofficial data would compromise the integrity of the game. In Tennessee, however, the proposed law would mandate the use of official data, and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Bill Lee. Whether he signs the bill or not remains to be seen, but it is important to remember that sports betting regulation in the state is still in its early stages.
The DC Lottery oversees the sports betting in the district, but the sports gambling industry in DC has seen greater success online than in brick-and-mortar locations. Sports betting apps by BetMGM and Caesars Sports have both made a significant impact in the District, with the two sportsbooks operating within a two-block radius of Nationals Park and Capital One Arena. Even so, the lottery may struggle to keep up with the growing popularity of online sports betting.