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Jerome García March 1, 2023 3 min read
Study Questions Transparency of University Gambling Deals
Amid the growing popularity of sports betting, a new investigative report probed into sports betting on college campuses
Since the US Supreme Court ruled against PASPA back in 2018, sports betting has been spreading to more US states. With PASPA out of the way, the legalization and regulation of the activity were put in the hands of lawmakers in each state, which resulted in a statewide expansion of the activity.
By now, sports betting is available in some form in more than thirty states, while some have legalized it but are yet to launch. Besides a fresh stream of tax revenue, legal sports betting helps reduce the share of the black market which brings benefits for the consumers. At the same time, legalizing the activity helped create sponsorship opportunities with colleges.
Late last month, the University of Maryland’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and Howard Center for Investigative Journalism uncovered the results of a four-month investigation that probed sports betting on college campuses. Overall, 145 Division I public universities in states where sports betting is legal were surveyed as a part of the recent research. Surprisingly, only 23% of the universities confirmed they had sports betting policies in place.
Merrill College’s George Solomon chair in sports journalism and director of the Povich Center, Mark Hyman, explained that the study shares an invaluable insight into how universities respond to sports betting. “It also examines the complicated relationships between betting companies and some schools,” he explained. Finally, Hyman thanked the student journalists that participated in the study and helped deliver these unique insights.
Deals between Bookies and Colleges Are Not Transparent
The new investigative study uncovered a worrying trend. According to the research, universities joined forces with private companies which in turn engaged with sportsbooks. This effectively helped “shield” the agreements, which in reality are between the universities and the sports betting companies, from the public. Undoubtedly this is a worrying trend, considering that some sponsorship agreements include in-stadium branding, as well as other options for promotions.
“Anytime that you can’t be transparent about something you’re doing, it probably indicates that there are some issues. These colleges should be very concerned about the impact of gambling addiction among especially underage students.“Keith Whyte, executive director at the National Council on Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s executive director, Keith Whyte, commented on the topic in an interview for the Associated Press. He outlined that concerns are raised immediately given that an activity or a process isn’t transparent. Whyte also pointed out that colleges that have sponsorship deals with betting companies should be concerned about gambling addiction among students that are below the legal age for betting.