Earlier this week DraftKings inked a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) to become one of their Authorized Gaming Operators. It’s a deal that both gives DraftKings access to MLB’s official data feed and shows how far the fraught relationship between professional sports and the sports betting world has become since regulated sports wagering was legalized in the United States.

Under the terms of the deal, DraftKings will be able to use the League’s official data stream in its operations and official team logos in its promotions. The former is a particularly big deal as in-game wagering is a rapidly growing vertical in the gaming world. Professional sports leagues have used their data feeds as leverage against gaming operators in their efforts to eek out revenue from regulated sports betting.

This kind of deal is so good for the MLB that DraftKings isn’t their only Authorized Gaming Operator. MGM Resorts signed a similar deal with the league last November.

In a statement reported on by Legal Sports Report, Kenny Gersh, MLB executive vice president, touted the deal as a major leap forward for fans and gaming operators saying, “Buoyed by our collective commitments to drive innovation in the U.S. sports betting marketplace, the tools provided to DraftKings – including fast, rich and reliable data feeds and MLB brand marks – will be central to creating these powerful new ways to consume and connect with our sport.” (Remember, these are the same league officials who fought regulated sports betting tooth and nail for decades.)

On a practical level, DraftKing’s status as an Authorized Gaming Operator will give the outfit an edge on both posting and settling in-play wagers, and that’s something that’s worth touting.


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