LSU has become the first state university in the Southeastern Conference to sign a partnership with a gambling operator through its association with Caesars Sportsbook, the Associated Press reports.
Deal Worth “Millions of Dollars”
According to a source cited by the media, the potential value of the deal would be “multiple millions of dollars.” At the time of the original reporting, the value of the contract has not been disclosed. However, the source confirmed that Caesars Sportsbook would take its time with how it introduces its partnership.
For one, there will be no sportsbook at the Tiger Stadium or other LSU venues that are associated with the deal and that host games. The partnership is also a preemptive move as Louisiana prepares to launch sports betting in full and the state’s regulator, the Gaming Control Board, is already reviewing licenses from casinos to expand their operations and feature sports gambling.
This is an important step forward for colleges as some of the potential recipients of the benefits that sports gambling has been able to generate. While many states have opposed the idea in principle, there are those, including Louisiana, that believe that the only way to curb offshore gambling on college sports is by bringing those betting options closer to home.
Another noteworthy development here is that college athletes can now profit from the so-called NIL, i.e., their name, image, and likeness, instead of letting colleges scoop up revenue with little to nothing going to the actual athletes.
A Few Details to Sort Out
While existing gambling rules dictate that no individuals under the age of 21 may participate in any gambling activities, it’s not confirmed whether the same would apply for marketing campaigns initiated by Caesars Sportsbook.
Commenting on this partnership, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward explained that the university and Caesars shared a clear vision of how athletics and entertainment can come together to improve the fan experience.
Caesars will feed into an annual scholarship fund that will help the LSU athletics program and its members to thrive. Caesars Digital co-president Chris Holdren stated: “LSU athletics programs have always exemplified excellence, and at Caesars, we couldn’t be happier to partner with such an iconic brand in college athletics.”
“We have a proud legacy in Louisiana, and bringing LSU fans and alumni closer to the sports they love while also offering scholarship opportunities will help us build upon that,” he concluded.
Previously, a similar partnership was established between the University of Denver and SuperBook. There has been a stiff opposition for keeping gambling and college sports separate, but a realization may be dawning that regulating this vertical is the only way to preserve its integrity.
Caesars Sportsbook has secured the naming rights for its new non-sportsbook venue at Tiger Stadium and will have signage across Death Valley. These changes have already been enacted over the weekend.