Behind The Books: Sports Leagues Getting In On The Betting Action?

Last week, Only Players Founder, Paul Bremer wrote an article introducing the idea of major sports leagues participating in the bets made on their games. This week, we share an expert view on this important topic.

Mike said the leagues will likely not be looking to open their own operations. He cited the hoops a league like the NFL would have to jump through for this to happen, like getting licensed in the 30 different states where sports betting is legal. It would be a long process because the league is in control of its own rules, which impacts the outcomes of games.

There is another direction the leagues could go to get a piece of the action, and that is the data. Mike indicated that this involves a balancing act. If leagues are going to begin selling their data and advanced statistics, they have to make sure that it does not limit the action for the sportsbooks. Less betting on games leads to less viewership, fewer advertising dollars and less money in television contracts.

The leagues are right to attempt to grow the game through relationships with sportsbooks, but they will need to be smart about maximizing the benefits.

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