The NBA Prepares For US Sports Betting Expansion In Deal With Sportradar

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Sports data company Sportradar is in the final stages of closing a $250 million six-year deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA), according to a report by Bloomberg.

Also involved in the deal is Second Spectrum, which already provides “data, analytics, visualization and video solutions” to about- half of the NBA’s teams.

The report quotes an anonymous source saying that the deal covers selling official league data to betting houses, data analytics to teams and the development of a streaming product.

Legal Sports Report reached out to Sportradar to get confirmation, but the company said that they were “unable to comment.”

Data deal prepares for legal sports betting in the US

Last week, a judgment by the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow New Jersey’s partial repeal of state law to allow sports betting. The ruling appeared to make the possibility of legal sports betting a distant prospect in those states where it isn’t allowed.

The NBA was one of the plaintiffs in the case against allowing New Jersey sports betting, but its oppositional stance appears to be weakening.

NBA spokesman Michael Bass told Gambling Compliance that the league is in favor of regulating sports betting, but it will not be aggressive in lobbying for the change.

However, American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman predicted last week that sports betting would be legal in around four years.

That prospect is part of the rationale for the deal the NBA is negotiating with Sportradar.

Assuming the deal goes through, Sportradar will be the data partner for three of the four major sports leagues in the US. It already has deals in place with the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Football League (NFL).

Sports data facilitates sports betting outside the US

While the political machinations necessary to get rid of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) are proceeding, the major sports leagues can use Sportradar’s services to build the sports betting market outside the US.

PASPA is the law that restricts sports betting to Nevada, and in a limited way, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. While not insignificant, these markets are small compared to the potential sports betting interest outside the US.

Approximately 300 million people play basketball in China alone; that’s roughly the population of the US.

Global sports bettors willingly embrace betting on US sports where there are strong controls over issues such as match fixing.

Sportradar is a global sports betting service provider

In 2015, Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban became investors in the company, partly based on the deals struck with the NHL and NFL which could become extremely lucrative when the US expands legal sports betting.

Sportradar, through its Betradar brand, provides services directly to over 450 bookmakers, including Bet365, William Hill, Paddy Power BetfairLadbrokes, and daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel. It provides odds on 40 sports to customers in 80 countries.

The deal with the NBA would provide better access to betting on US basketball for all of Betradar’s customers, creating a much bigger global handle for basketball betting.

The size of the global market for US sports betting will be a powerful argument that lobbyists can deploy to convince politicians that regulated and taxed sports betting in the US will provide substantial tax revenues.

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