The Supreme Court’s decision has reopened sports betting discussions across the country, and the debate is about much more than whether it should be legalized or not. At the heart of this fight is what the state’s best interest may be, and that usually boils down to maximizing taxable revenue. To do that, states need to decide how to tax sports wagering and how much (if any) regulatory control should be retained by the state’s gaming commissions or other governing bodies.
This is all about money and it’s why sports leagues, in particular the NBA and MLB, want to use official betting data at licensed sportsbooks. As Sports Handle has covered, this “war over data” isn’t about preserving integrity; it’s about monetization. The NBA and MLB, along with the PGA Tour, have lobbied hard to push their preferred model legislation to state legislatures.
The most successful state-licensed sportsbooks are based at professional stadiums and arenas, such as the Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena, home to the NBA’s Wizards and NHL’s Capitals, which launched in July 2020; and the BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park, home of the MLB’s Washington Nationals, which opened in June 2021. In addition, some states have established sportsbooks at land-based casinos and state-run tribal gaming operations.
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