The National Football League wants a bigger say in sports betting rules around the country. Jocelyn Moore, NFL Executive VP for Communications and Public Affairs wrote a letter to talk about the legislation that the Congress may craft.
Washington D.C. will be the seat of an important meeting at the White House. The Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee will both talk about federal regulations for sports gambling on Thursday. In the letter, Moore talked about the irrational fears of fake matches, known as ghost games. Therefore, the NFL wants all legalized betting operators to use “official league data” only.
Moore further writes that betting outcomes are determined increasingly because of yardage gained, the number of sacks by a defense, strikes by a pitcher in baseball and other granular details. Consumers who are betting on sporting events want relevant, timely and correct information. Therefore, official data provided by the leagues is essential for sports betting as it removes ambiguity from the wagers.
NFL further suggests that sports leagues are already producing official data for statistical and broadcast proposed. It should be termed as standard in a regulated and legal market to maintain the integrity of the marketplace and in public interest.
Pushing for official data use is also in the NFL’s monetary interests as the official data will come at a cost to the sports betting providers. This will give another revenue stream to the NFL and other sporting leagues which will have reduced dependence on integrity fee. However, the league’s focus on fake-bets looks slightly far-fetched. Data compiled by sources other than the NFL doesn’t necessarily have to be fraudulent. It could be the league’s way to ensure that it gets a large chunk of the gambling pie for years.
The league could also push for stopping some types of in-game prop bets, claiming that they could lead to match-fixing efforts. Wagers that are not determined solely by the final score or outcome of the event should be restricted according to the NFL as they will cost the integrity of the contest. This would outlaw bets on an individual player’s performances.
It is counter-intuitive for the NFL to lobby for official league data but not let bettors make use of the wealth of in-game data that could lead to a more flourishing industry. The Congress’ approach on the betting industry remains unclear