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NBA to distribute real-time data for betting odds

by David Purdum, ESPN

NEW YORK — Real-time, official NBA data will be used to generate in-game betting odds and then be distributed to licensed sportsbooks in the U.S. through multiple partners in a deal announced Wednesday — the first such arrangement for a major American sports league.

Beginning this season, sports data providers Genius Sports and Sportradar — two companies that have worked closely with the NBA and already provide other data to U.S. and international sportsbooks — will have the nonexclusive rights to distribute official NBA and WNBA betting data.

“We feel strongly that official NBA betting data provides the best experience for our fans,” NBA vice president and head of fantasy and gaming Scott Kaufman-Ross told ESPN. “We want all legal operators to be using official data, and this framework ensures that there is a competitive marketplace for it.”

The NBA says the value of the official data feed lies in its reliability and transmission speed, which is critical for the growth of live in-game betting, in which odds are offered for wagering throughout a contest. Bookmakers in the United Kingdom say that more money is bet during a match than before it, and the popularity of live betting is growing in the U.S., too. At a gaming conference this week in New York, an executive for FanDuel’s sportsbook in New Jersey said in-game betting accounts for an estimated 40 percent of the amount wagered at its book.

“We see the market evolving more and more toward live betting, and having the ability of providing reliable, accurate and timely information to the [bettors] is absolutely crucial,” Sportradar U.S. president Matteo Monteverdi told ESPN.

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