Summary: Using official data and mobile wagering are hot topics involving sports betting in Indiana.
Last week, the House Public Policy Committee in Indiana began discussing sports betting legalization in the state. During the talks, the main points of concern were mobile wagering and using official data for setting bets. S 552 was under considering during a hearing that took place last week, with the bill having been passed by the Senate back in February.
In the sports betting bill, language allows for mobile and online wagering. In-person registration must take place in order for an individual to be able to take part in mobile wagering. Stakeholders of the industry want to be able to offer mobile wagering so they can be successful, but they do not seem too concerned over the in-person signup requirement.
Mobile sports betting is strongly supported in the state. FanDuel Sportsbook sent Andrew Winchell to speak on their behalf during the meeting, with Andrew pointing out that the black market of sports betting has been successful due to ease of use. Few customers want to go to a casino each time they want to place a wager. Being able to do it online allows players more convenience when betting.
The FanDuel rep pointed out the success of other states when compared to those who do not offer mobile wagering. In New Jersey, the state saw $385 million wagered on sports betting while Mississippi only saw $35 million. The huge difference is that New Jersey offers online betting while Mississippi does not.
Dave Miller of the PGA Tour was on hand as well, pointing out that millions are spent each year illegally on sports betting, with the majority of bets placed from mobile phones. According to Miller, consumers today expect to be able to do everything from their phones, including betting.
Leagues Want Office Data Mandate
Another topic during the hearing involved the use of official data. Sports leagues want a mandate in which operators in the state must use the official league data for in-game wagering. Mr. Miller talked about official league data and why it is so important.
Without official data, operators are either using data scouts who are transmitting the information covertly or they use scraping which means offshore companies are stealing the information from sites that are officially connected to the leagues. Either way, it is not the best format as the providers do not have the best interest of the sport at heart.
The leagues were also on hand to demonstrate why official data is needed. Don Emerson, the chief legal officer for the Indianapolis Colts, stated that without using official information, there is a risk of conflicting results.
While the leagues are pushing for official data, legislators are not. Lawmakers are pushing back against the official data use, citing the Nevada has offered sports betting for decades and have not required operators to use official league data.
It seems the leagues are pushing for the option so that they will be able to make some money. The leagues first pushed for an integrity fee, but states have not been receptive to that idea since the leagues are already supposed to protect the integrity of the game.
It will be interesting to see if the format suggested will remain in place or if lawmakers will choose to change up how they will be offering and regulating the industry, if it comes to pass.