What is Official Betting?

Official betting is the use of data provided by sports leagues to power sports betting products. Leagues are increasingly partnering with sportsbooks and technology providers to enable this kind of official betting. They are also exploring ways to make their data available, with some allowing players to become ambassadors for these brands, like Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid who appears in an ad for BetGM in 2022.

Using official betting data enables the creation of markets where the odds on different outcomes are calculated according to how much money is placed on each outcome. This is similar to how the odds on horse racing are calculated. For example, a bet on the first scoring play or quarter/half betting will be settled on the official result declared by governing bodies such as the NBA and NCAA.

The utility and reliability of official data remain to be tested, but the concept appears to be gaining ground in US sports betting laws. Lawmakers appear to believe the data can help guarantee the integrity they seek in legal US sports betting. However, the industry views such mandates as bad policy because they force private operators into commercial agreements with the leagues and give them what amounts to a monopoly on data.

Individuals associated with clubs at lower levels of the men’s and women’s league systems, plus match officials at FA Level 4 or below are banned from placing bets on any event in which they participate. This is intended to protect football from betting-related corruption, as well as to ensure that people who may have a conflict of interest cannot influence the outcome of matches.