NBA Bans Unauthorized Sportsbooks From Accessing Data Feed
As states continue to push for and pass laws supporting the legalization of sports gambling, the NBA is doing its part on the same front. Beginning Tuesday, two days before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the league banned unauthorized sportsbooks from accessing its official data feed.
Sportsradar, the NBA’s primary data distributor, sent a letter to those unauthorized sportsbooks saying they would “cease providing to you NBA Official Data for use in the United States unless and until you are an Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA.” These sportsbooks knew their partnerships were ending after the 2018-19 season, according to ESPN.
NBA Has Three Sports Betting Partners
This will apply to all sportsbooks except MGM, FanDuel and The Stars Group, the league’s three exclusive sports betting partners.
MGM became the official gaming partner of the NBA in July 2018. Five months later the NBA announced a partnership with The Stars Group as an authorized gaming operator of the league.
The NBA first partnered with FanDuel in 2014 to offer daily fantasy sports games before extending that partnership in December 2018 to include sports betting.
Those three operators will now have exclusive access to these data feeds which are used in live NBA betting during games and updated throughout the duration in real-time. Sportsbooks that no longer have access to Sportradar and Genius Sports will have to update their live betting options manually or no longer provide the option to bettors.
NBA Progressive, Transparent in Gambling Partnerships
Perhaps no league has been more transparent and aggressive in partnering with legal betting operations than the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver has long been a proponent, and before the start of the league’s 2018-19 season he admitted that a partnership with legalized betting “will be good for business.”
That monetization for the NBA will include the league introducing more gambling advertisements throughout broadcasts. Scott Kaufman-Ross, Senior VP and head of fantasy and gaming for the NBA, said the league is still working through how to target these advertisements on a local and national scale because so few states have legalized sports betting to date.
“Should it be done on platforms that can be geo-targeted to places where it is legal, or broadcast platforms where there are local availabilities in local stations? Those are the types of things we're looking at,” Kaufman-Ross said.
“Certainly, as sports betting becomes legal in more states ... more national broadcasting will make sense. But finding that right balance is going to be very important in the early years,” he said.
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