NBA Reaches Deals for Its Gambling Data

Traditional pre-game betting still dominates much of how we view and discuss sports gambling, but the continuing rapid development of sport-specific data and mobile technology has brought tremendous growth in the importance of live wagering. Given the NBA has been ahead of the curve in forming gambling partnerships across the board, it should come as no surprise the league has struck a deal that will allow for the sale of its game-specific data.

Under separate agreements, Genius Sports Group and Sportradar AG will house the league’s advanced data and subsequently distribute it to various legal sportsbooks across the country. From Bloomberg:

Though financial terms weren’t disclosed, these sorts of deals tend to be among the most expensive in the sports-gambling industry. That’s because of the exploding popularity of live betting, also called in-play betting, where gamblers wager on small possibilities within a game.

Essentially, Sportradar and Genius Sports will turn real-time raw game data into a usable product for in-game betting purposes.

In turn, sports bettors will have a user-friendly product that has a slot machine effect with rapid bets producing nearly immediate outcomes to keep gamblers continuously engaged. In other words, why wait for the outcome of an entire quarter, half, or game when you can wager on where the next bucket is coming from?

For instance:

Will the Sixers (Jimmy Butler) drill this game winner as time expires?
Yes -110    No -110

Seems fun, right?

Such engagement is not only good for the gambling houses that stand to profit, but it’s also incredibly valuable for the league beyond the sale of its data and sponsor partnerships. Fan interest and engagement with the product will most certainly increase as bettors follow these micro-wagers.

Major League Baseball, a league that has historically tried to distance itself from sports betting (sup, Pete Rose?), just yesterday struck a deal to make MGM Resorts its official gaming partner. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred discussed how the much talked about pace of play issues plaguing his sport are actually advantageous when it comes to sports gambling:

Expect similar deals in the coming weeks and months as the fusion between pro sports leagues and legal sportsbooks continues.

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