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The MLB All-Star Game has come and gone already.
With a late comeback, the American League defeated the National League in a close contest.
But some other interesting facts drew plenty of attention during the week.
Sportsbooks pointed out a significant increase in handle during this same period.
A combination of wagers, from the game result to individual stats and in-game props saw handles reach the six figures.
It’s no secret that sports betting presents a great opportunity from a financial point of view.
One year after PASPA‘s repeal, the total handle nationwide is in the $8 billion range.
All that money naturally has major leagues eager at getting their share of the pie.
Going back to baseball, the MLB has been at the front of that process.
The league has been actively looking for official betting partners.
Earlier this year, the MLB presented its Authorized Gaming Operator program.
The league expects to establish partnerships with sportsbooks by providing official data.
So far, the MLB has only found one partner, MGM Resorts.
The idea behind the Authorized Gaming Operator program, or AGO for short, is rather simple.
It starts by monopolizing the data feeds on offer.
Sportradar, one of the leading data providers, is now the MLB’s official partner.
Sportsbooks that do not join the AGO will eventually lose access to the league’s official data feed.
Originally, the All-Star Game would function as the deadline.
However, as the league has only secured one partnership thus far, this deadline will likely be extended.
The MLB has held talks with a number of sportsbooks and is reportedly close to striking new deals.
Of course, that alone wouldn’t prevent sportsbooks without access to the official feed from offering bets.
Having MLB as an official theory should, in theory, work as a good marketing opportunity.
At the same time, it would also boost the sports book’s reliability.
The alternative for other operators would be relying on alternative data feeds.
These, of course, wouldn’t have the league’s seal of approval.
In the end, it would be down to the bettor’s choice.
According to the MLB, AGO members would have access to the official sports betting data.
These stats would be provided in real-time, but that in itself isn’t the main draw.
The MLB expects that the timing of its data feed will be the game-changer.
The reduced latency would help sportsbooks in offering a better product.
Props and other real-time, in-game bets could be updated at a higher speed.
Again, the data would still be available from non-official sources.
The number one issue, however, is how much the league is willing to charger compared to how much sportsbooks can afford.
This, when combined with the potential revenue, might actually drive potential partners away.
Straightening the ties between the major leagues and the sports betting market could bring plenty of benefits.
The ever-growing market could provide the leagues with an additional influx of new fans.
Even without having to rely on fees, that alone would be a great help.
Working out a different deal other than having to rely on official data could actually prove to be a better alternative.
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