Sports data is a hot topic at the moment given the opening up of the US sports betting market. The biggest leagues such as the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball have been quick to make sure they receive some of the benefit of the repeal of PASPA by signing deals to provide betting data, writes Joanne Christie.

All indications so far point to sporting bodies and indeed many regulators being eager to make sure licensed sportsbooks use only this type of ‘official’ data as the market opens up.

But while it may be Stateside it’s getting a lot of attention right now, sports data has also been under the spotlight in Europe in recent years.

There has been a significant debate over data rights due to integrity issues in some sports, and some software providers have also faced legal action over the unauthorized use of data.

For these reasons, sportsbook software provider Altenar says it isn’t taking any risks when it comes to the data it provides its clients.

It has recently reaffirmed its commitment to providing official data, having been awarded Gold Certified status by sports data provider Betradar for the second time.

The company has been working with Betradar since 2011 and first became a Gold Certified partner in 2017. In December last year, it passed another review, meaning its Gold status is now in place until the end of 2020.

Altenar’s chief operating officer Dinos Stranomitis says Betradar’s sports betting feeds are a “must have” for the company. “Betradar is the leader in sports betting feeds and obtains data from recognized sources with proper quality assurance,” he explains.

“Betradar has quality data from reliable sources. Those sources are leagues or tournament organizers, or scouters in the venue wherever permitted, who transmit real-time data, as well as media sources such as TV.”

While official data comes at a price, Stranomitis says its value cannot be underestimated. “The process of acquiring data definitely requires significant effort and cost, especially if the source used is what we call in our industry ‘first-hand’ and is under quality assurance surveillance in order to avoid any type of error.”

Stranomitis says operators looking for a software partner should think carefully before signing up with any provider whose data sources are less robust. “Who wants to use unreliable, scraping over the web data in a business that involves millions of euros of investment?”

It seems a large number of sportsbooks agree, judging by the growing roster of clients signing up with Altenar. After rapid growth over the last three years, it now has more than 20 partners using its sports betting solution.

These include Wplay in Colombia, Winbet in Bulgaria, Red Sevens in Romania, BetRebels in Greece, and Betbiga in Nigeria.

With the increasing preference among players for in-play betting in established online betting markets now spreading to emerging markets, the advantage of having immediate and official sporting results is only going to become more important in the betting industry.