Since last year, collegiate programs in the nation have been extending partnerships with sportsbook operators. Maryland is one of the states that is taking action to overturn the ruling in the state.
PointsBet Inspired the Operation
For years, athletic officials and sports betting haven’t had a cordial relationship because they believe that allowing consumers to place wagers, especially on in-state college games, will harm student athletes’ performances on the field and classroom. Sen. Shelly Hettleman introduced SB 620 to prevent colleges and universities from partnering with sports betting operators.
Last year, the New York Times reported that Pointsbet and the University of Colorado formed a partnership. Under the agreement, the bookmaker included a clause that paid the school $1.6 million in addition to a $30 bonus for anyone who signed up on the platform via a referral code.
However, this course of action faced a lot of backlash, which led to both parties restructuring the deal. It was clear that the senator from the Old Line State wanted to avoid these types of issues going forward.
The sportsbook operator confirmed on a news source that the university didn’t receive any compensation from the deal. Sen. Hettleman’s bill was heard by the Senate Energy, Education, and Environment Committee on Wednesday. Hettleman says the logic behind the bill is understood by universities in the state even though no action was taken on it Wednesday.
What is the Structure of the Senator’s Bill?
The legislative session is set to end on April 10th, and the senator is optimistic that a measure will be passed during the time frame. According to the foundation of the bill, the initiative would prohibit the university from receiving incentives for things like signing up, but universities are still allowed to extend partnerships.
Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, stated that he doesn’t want bookmakers to partner with universities because the action presents a gambling risk. Many states across the nation have brought up adding measures to mitigate problem gambling in their respective states.
The majority of students at the University of Maryland are under the age of 21 and cannot sign up on a platform. LSU and Michigan State are other institutions that have deals with a competitor also known as Caesars.
How Will Universities and Operators Change?
Universities throughout the nation see that partnering with sportsbooks is a lucrative stream of income. Still, this could be problematic for the majority of the population going forward.
For example, the Ohio Casino Control Commission fined PENN Entertainment because Barstool Sports hosted a show on the University of Toledo’s campus. DraftKings also received a fine for mailing to the wrong target demographic of consumers.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission prohibits gambling advertisements from being on college campuses. Potential bettors cannot bet on in-state games unless the schools participate in major tournaments such as March Madness, as the online segment is expected to go live on March 10th.