So Far Eight Universities in Bed With Sportsbook Companies

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

The New York Times reported this weekend on how colleges and sports-betting companies ‘Caesarized’ campus life'.


By "Caesarized" we assume they are referring to Caesars Sportsbook, the leading online sports betting company.

According to the Times report, eight universities to date have received millions of dollars to partner with sportsbooks, Caesars included.

From the NY Times:

The online gambling deals have helped athletic departments recoup some of the revenue they lost during the pandemic. The partnerships bring in extra funds that schools can use to sign marquee coaches and build winning sports teams. Mr. Haller, Michigan State’s athletic director, said in a news release at the time of the Caesars deal that it would provide “significant resource.

The problem is obvious. College students are viewed among the more vulnerable, most are of the age they are prohibited from placing a bet legally (you need to be 21 in most U.S. states), and the opportunities for fixing games are numerous as student athletes are barely compensated.  Some aspects of the deals also appear to violate rules aimed at preventing marketing of gambling to underage individuals.

“It just feels gross and tacky for a university to be encouraging people to engage in behavior that is addictive and very harmful,” said Robert Mann, an L.S.U. journalism professor and outspoken critic of the partnerships.

“We’re not seeing enough oversight, transparency and education to support the rollout of these kinds of deals,” said Michael Goldman, who teaches sports marketing at the University of San Francisco.

Nearly half the U.S. states that offer sports betting prohibit taking bets on in-state schools and games that feature them.  Some states like Oregon do not even allow mobile betting on any college games.

Illinois lawmakers finally got around the in-state school beting ban by allowing said wagers to be placed only in person, not remotely.

College athletic administrators mostly oppose the move.

 “We oppose in-state gambling,” said Danielle Suprenant, Western Illinois University Director of Athletics.

“I think when you really try to take a step back you want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to keep the integrity of the game in the contest itself, but also to always protect the health and well-being of student athletes,” said Suprenant. 

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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