The NBA and Sports Betting

ARI SHAPIRO: When it comes to betting, the NBA has been one of the leagues that has really changed its tune since the Supreme Court ruling. It seems like they went from fighting to keep sports betting restricted to Nevada, to basically embracing it and partnering with sports books in a lot of ways. They’re also introducing odds and lines in the media, which is something they didn’t do much of before.

Illinois’s law includes a requirement that sportsbooks use official data to grade Tier 2 wagers, which include player prop bets and certain futures. The Tennessee law includes a similar mandate. But despite initial lobbying from the leagues, most US states have dropped such requirements. The reason: the utility and reliability of official data remains under question. And mandating its use essentially forces operators into commercial agreements with the leagues while granting them what amounts to a monopoly on the data.

Players’ unions will likely resist such a move in the same way they resisted efforts to collect and monetize their biometric data. Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association has made clear that it will fight any attempt to require official data as part of a sports betting law.

For more on the state of legal sports betting, click here for a look at how it’s changed over the past five years and what’s in store for its future. Also, be sure to check out Mike Vorkunov’s piece on whether MLB players can actually bet — the answer is complicated.