Official betting is a term that refers to wagers made on professional sports events. These include sports games, such as football and horse racing, as well as major tournaments, like the Olympics.
In order to legally accept bets, sportsbooks must have a license from the state in which they operate. In addition to a state-approved license, these operators must adhere to strict regulations designed to ensure they provide a safe and fair environment for customers.
Currently, there are no state-level laws requiring sportsbooks to use official league data. Instead, the US has a mixed model in which some jurisdictions have adopted legislative mandates while others leave it up to distributors to make pricing decisions.
The first US state to adopt a league-mandated data requirement is Tennessee, which passed a law in May that requires to-be licensed sportsbooks to purchase official league data if they want to offer live in-play wagers. The law outlines three tiers of data: “Tier 1” bets, which are determined by the final score or outcome; “Tier 2” wagers that don’t fall into one of these tiers; and “live betting,” which can only be placed during a game.
While the leagues have pushed for official data to be used by all online and mobile sportsbooks, the industry views such mandates as a bad policy. They impose a heavy commercial cost on operators while giving one party what amounts to a monopoly over the flow of betting data.