If you haven’t heard about official data, you will.
USSportsIntegrity.com serves as a platform for arguing the importance of sports integrity and official data. The link between the two isn’t always intuitive, which is why a primer is needed about why the site exists and what it promotes.
In a nutshell, the website hopes that state legislatures will vote for the use of official data at every sportsbook. The league will work with the providers of that data to give bettors the most up-to-date information possible about games, players and trends.
The site points out a trio of outcomes from this process. “Outcomes” is somewhat negligible; the points are more about marketing than anything else:
- Revenues from betting can be invested in sports integrity
- Market becomes more consumer-friendly
- Illegal betting dies
The first point is relatively legit; not so for points two and three. Data will be readily available through a slew of apps whose data will most likely be just as accurate as or identical to official data. As for illegal betting dying, that will have much more to do with the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) than any data.
Who runs the site?
The company behind the website is Genius Sports, the nation’s largest sports data provider. Why is this important? Because Genius Sports stands to gain the most from states passing laws that require official data.
Genius, as the premier official data provider in the country, will now have a customer base of states that will most likely be willing to hand over millions to pay for the official data contracts needed to launch sports betting within their borders.
While Genius offers a tremendous product, it’s hard to believe that they’ll be the only ones. Should sports betting become legal, there will be entrepreneurs across the country who will recognize the opportunity for big profit and will invest in agile, lean sports data startups.
How does official data make the game safer?
The website provides a series of six research, opinion and white papers that defend the company’s position on sports integrity.
If you’re a skeptic, you’ll see these documents as piles of marketing material Genius is using to get a huge payday once sports betting is legalized.
For those who are more forgiving, the material is a helpful way to understand Genius’ argument, which is as follows:
- Legit betting requires data
- That data needs to be as accurate as possible
The example the site uses is that an illegal sports book that isn’t using official data can con customers into making prop bets on games that have already finished.
It’s a tidy argument but it’s based on the concept that bettors can’t make a 100% solid decision if the data doesn’t come from a sanctioned data provider. Anyone with a smartphone can avoid dirty prop bets simply by checking the scores of a game on their phone.
The other side of the argument is that accurate data really does help bettors. You don’t want to put money on the outcome of an in-game event based on information that’s minutes old – one injury you don’t know about because of outdated data could cost bettors thousands of dollars.
Who endorses USSportsBetting.com?
At the time of publishing, the website featured a video that included monologues from an MLB and PGA rep. Both of those representatives indicated that official data was an important part of maintaining the integrity of professional sports.