The Rise of Official Betting

The phrase official betting is appearing in headlines at a rapid clip, illustrating how leagues, sportsbooks and data providers have all jumped into the fray. Partnerships are emerging at a breakneck pace, and the industry’s leaders are establishing huge portfolios of relationships that can benefit all parties.

In the wake of legal sports betting’s rise in the United States, there has been plenty of discussion about how to protect integrity, and in particular how to ensure that bettors are making fair wagers on games. Some of that discussion has centered on the integrity fee, a mechanism that many leagues want to impose upon sportsbooks in order to monetize their data.

While some have called for a complete lockdown of betting data, it’s worth noting that Nevada has operated a regulated sportsbook without such mandates. Furthermore, Tier 1 bets (those that are based on final scores and outcomes) can be graded by any bookmaker, so the concept of a “one true data” is dubious at best.

Despite that, there remains a great deal of interest in the state of Missouri. Several bills have been introduced, and the issue will likely come up for a vote again in 2024. In the meantime, a sportsbook partnership between the Oneida Nation and Gov. Tony Evers allows the tribe to offer a handful of mobile sports wagers in the state. The Oneida sportsbook won’t rival some of the larger markets in the country, but it’s a step forward.