The official data mandates leagues are pushing for in legal sports betting are a bad idea. They’re a clear attempt to coerce private operators into commercial agreements and give one party what amounts to a monopoly on the most important source of data in legal US sports betting. The industry supports private commercial agreements for official data but opposes legislative mandates.
Before SCOTUS overturned PASPA in 2018, sports leagues were already pushing for official data mandates in state-regulated sports betting. They’ll probably continue this effort in the coming years, despite strong resistance from players’ unions.
As more states begin legalizing sports gambling, they’ll likely include a provision in their laws requiring sportsbooks to use official league data for Tier 2 bets (moneyline, spreads, and totals). This will require further clarification of the definition of “official data,” but should allow regulators some discretion about which sources to approve.
In addition to official league data, sportsbooks will likely also be required to use proprietary data (such as game scores, time of possession, and more) provided by their vendors. This may provide some additional transparency for bettors and will help to mitigate risk.
The earliest legal sportsbooks in the United States will have to comply with WBSC regulations that prohibit any player, team staff member (including coaches and managers), or tournament official from placing bets on any event in a multisport competition that features baseball, softball, or any other league-sanctioned sport. This includes the Olympic baseball and softball competitions.