Massachusetts Regulators Approve Genius Sports, Sportradar Vendor Licenses

Written By Derek Helling on February 3, 2023
vendor license approval massachusetts sports betting

With Super Bowl LVII forthcoming soon and the launch of online Massachusetts sports betting to follow thereafter, regulators’ approval of two service providers crucial to the operations of sportsbooks in the US was paramount. That matter has seen a resolution with the license approvals of both Genius Sports and Sportradar.

Combined, those two vendors provide data and other services around many of the world’s most prolific sports properties like the NFL. Their approval means current and future sportsbooks in the state should be able to field competitive products.

Massachusetts sports betting moves forward

According to Dan Holmes of PlayMA, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved supplier licenses for both Genius Sports and Sportradar on Jan. 31. These companies provide data feeds, streaming content, and other services to regulated sportsbook operators.

While others provide similar services, these two companies are irreplaceable for any US sportsbook because of the exclusive data rights they hold with the country’s most popular sports leagues. Sportradar has such data deals with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League among others.

In April 2021, Genius Sports took over data duties from Sportradar concerning the National Football League. Thus, without access to these vendors, offering a competitive product in Massachusetts would have been next to impossible.

Why are these services so crucial for sportsbooks?

Sportsbooks can ill-afford to send what would be an army of data journalists to every sporting event they want to offer action on to report results. Additionally, equipping so many people with the necessary technology and training to do so live would represent another enormous cost.

For that reason, they buy access to data from companies like Genius and Sportradar. Massachusetts law adds another layer to the conversation when discussing live betting markets, too. The state requires licensed sportsbooks to get their data for such markets from sports leagues’ official partners. The law also limits them to buying data from vendors also licensed by the state.

Hence, without a Massachusetts license for both of these companies, sportsbooks in the state would have been extremely hamstrung. They could not have offered live bets on MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and a wider array of other sports. Genius and Sportradar also hold official rights for many international leagues.

With these licenses settled, Massachusetts’ recently launched retail sportsbooks are free to offer an array of live markets on Super Bowl LVII. In addition, future online sportsbooks will be able to offer a wide spectrum of wagers when they go live in Massachusetts. That won’t be the only service sports betting apps bring thanks to Genius and Sportradar, either.

In-app streaming coming to Massachusetts as well

Earlier this year, Caesars Sportsbook became the first Genius Sports partner in the US to offer live streaming of NFL games in its app. This was possible because Genius’ deal with the NFL includes access to a live feed of select games.

Sportradar boasts similar rights for the MLB, NBA, and NHL. But also for global tennis and the Bundesliga (Germany’s top-tier men’s soccer league). While availability in Massachusetts is also subject to other broadcast rights deals, the capability for streaming a wide menu exists.

In many ways, Massachusetts sports betting will be a better experience because of these license approvals.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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