The National Football League (NFL) has taken its first steps in to the legal United States sports betting landscape by signing their first gambling provider deal with online sports betting odds and data provider SportsRadar paving the way for legal in-play sports betting.
The NFL has gone forward toward embracing legal sports betting on football, which is rapidly expanding to regulated and legal states in many US states. Recently, the league announced they would be using their data partner in Sportradar as their only distributor of their league official data for purposes of sports betting in jurisdictions where sports betting did not used to be legal. No details or terms of the recent deal have not been disclosed.
The further relationship between the NFL and Sportradar has expanded with the recent deal and it will give the data company access to data in real time and play by play data as well as player tracking data from Nest Gen Stats (NGS). The press release by the NFL does not have the wording of in play betting in it, but that is the main crux of the deal that will make sure that bookmakers that are located in markets that are regulated have the information that they need in order to make in play bets right away.
The data from NGS will also allow betting sites in New Jersey like Pointsbet to give bettors more options when it comes to in play wagers that are specifically set up for the on-field performance of athletes. This may cause some friction with the NFL Players Association, which last year among player representatives wanted their voices heard on the issue to make sure player rights and the game integrity was protected.
The NFL has been slowly backing down from their stance on being against gambling. Pointing to this fact is that in January of this year the NFL named Caesars Entertainment as the league’s first casino sponsor. There are teams, such as the New York Jets, that have separate deals for sponsorship with betting firms that do their business online.
Leagues such as the MLB have been more forward in coming to terms with the legalization of sports betting as they quickly signed pacts for authorized gaming operators. These types of pacts involve giving access to proprietary data for sports betting. However, both MLB and NBA have made threats to force the data providers they use to halt data supply to online sportsbooks that fail to make deals with them.
Before the state of New Jersey was successful in the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in the U.S. Supreme Court in May of last year, the heads of the big sports leagues in North America each said, under oath, that legal sports betting would ruin the integrity of their leagues.