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Sportsbooks to Have Limited Use of NBA Official Data Feed

The NBA announced its plans to cut off use of the official league data feed beginning next week to unauthorized sportsbooks, which could disrupt some forms of betting on the NBA Finals.

On Thursday, an authorized distributor of data for the NBA sent out a letter notifying operators of sportsbooks that the NBA was forcing it to stop providing the league’s Official Data for use in the U.S. unless or until a sportsbook is or becomes one of the NBA’s “Authorized Gaming Operators.”

The data feed is scheduled, according to this week’s letter, to be shut down as of 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday. The NBA Finals begin with Game 1 on Thursday.

The NBA has set up deal with three operators of sportsbooks – FanDuel, The Stars Group and MGM – to be official gaming partners of the NBA and those three have access to the league’s official data feed.

In May of 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned PASPA – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protections Act of 1992, which was a federal statute restricting sports betting to four states in the country.

Since that ruling, full-scale, legal sportsbooks have been opened in seven states including Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Several other states are planning to enter the sportsbook business some time in 2019.

The official data feed for the NBA is used primarily by sportsbooks to operate the live betting options they offer and update odds offered on the different results throughout a game.

In-game or live betting is growing across the U.S., but is not yet a significant handle for sportsbooks. The overwhelming majority of money generated on bets for wagering is on the moneyline, point spread and over/under point totals say sportsbook handlers.

Sportsbooks operators that are not yet signed up with a deal with the league are considering their options, with one option being to manually produce live odds or to simply stop NBA live wagering.

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