NBA and MLB Shoot for Data Deals Again
NBA and MLB executives have been struggling for a fair while now insofar as the official league data goes. According to them, sports betting contests wouldn’t exist without the precious data, but business and lawmakers from over 10 states tend to think differently.
The notion of an “integrity fee,” whereby sports betting operators would be obliged to pay a flat-out tax on offering wagers on specific sporting events has been dismissed time and over again. As a result, the NBA and MLB have decided to change tact and offer their data to tease out the sportsbooks with what options there are on the market.
While they have offered companies a taste of what reliable data can do for them, they still want to tie that data up to business partnerships which would ultimately bring profits to the leagues, even though no “integrity fee” would be ever mentioned. The NBA may have just made a breakthrough in convincing sportsbooks to pay up.
NBA Brokering a Data Deal with Sportsbooks
The NBA is convinced that a fixed fee would work and that is exactly what the National Basketball Association is aiming for with an upcoming deal. Major League Basketball is also in on the deal. Here is what MLB Executive VP Kenny Gersh had to say on the occasion:
The fee that we are charging for that bucket of rights, and again it’s not just for the data, it’s relative to the size of the operator’s business.
Mr. Gersh explained that small operators wouldn’t have to meet fees that are outside their paying range, making it a more tailored approach as opposed to the flat-out rate required by the integrity fees. These deals are discussed amid a missive legalization push in the United States.
Eight states currently offer sports betting solutions whereas four more are forging ahead with deals. All of this was made possible with the help of defeating PASPA in May, 2018 with which the federal ban on sports wagers was stripped. The move previously failed in 2016.
New Deals Ahead of the Season
Both the MLB and the NBA are hopefully that they can negotiate fresh agreements with operators. In the case of the MLB, the league is pushing for a deal ahead of the playoff season.
NBA Senior VP and Head of Fantasy and Gaming Scott Kaufman-Ross has expressed hopes that operators would agree to purchase the data packages from the leagues directly. Yet, mainstream sportsbooks are still loath to pay for betting odds and data when they have been capable of coming up with their own numbers.
Here is what Westgate Las Vegas VP of Race and Sportsbooks Jay Kornegay had to say commenting on paying for official data usage:
We respect the leagues; we want to work with the leagues. There are marketing deals to be made. When it comes to revenue sharing, we just don’t have the room for that.
While Kornegay has been more moderate in his remarks, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Director of Sports Relations Jimmy Vaccaro has been more determined to dismiss the partnership. Vaccaro explained that the sportsbooks had had people who had been compiling odds and data their entire life and that the in-house specialists were perfectly capable of handling data by themselves.
‘What are they going to offer me that I can’t already see?’ Vaccaro concluded testily.