NCAA Takes Steps to Protect Student-Athletes From Problem Gambling

Sports betting is a form of gambling that involves placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. It is legal in many states and has become a part of how fans consume sports. However, it can also create a new type of problem for student-athletes. A recent NCAA survey found 10% of Division I campus administrators reported that they had heard of students being harassed by individuals with gambling interests. The NCAA is taking steps to protect the health and welfare of its student-athletes.

In addition to education efforts, the NCAA has a number of integrity programs and a network of contacts for prevention and detection. These include federal and state law enforcement, gaming operators, campus administrators and specialized vendors. It has also launched its first e-learning module, designed to educate current and prospective student-athletes on problem gambling harms and the risks sports betting poses to the integrity of the game.

A player or team who violates the code of conduct can be fined or banned from competition. The code of conduct prohibits anyone from engaging in any activity that would compromise the integrity of a match, including seeking, offering or accepting a bribe to fix a match or event. It also bans any abuse of inside information. This includes using a player’s or team’s name, logo, nickname, image, or any other information to promote a bet.

With sports betting now legal in 30 US states, the NCAA is focusing on education. It recently launched an e-learning module that is being distributed to more than 500,000 current and prospective student-athletes. It focuses on the dangers of problem gambling and the risks sports betting poses to the integrity and well-being of student-athletes. The module includes tips and facts, and it is available on the NCAA website.

US sportsbooks continue to open and rebrand as the industry evolves. For instance, Hard Rock Bet, a rebrand of the Seminole Tribe’s sportsbook, is now live in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey, and Tennessee. Its sleek UI and loyalty program are drawing attention. In Washington, DC, Caesars has rebranded its sportsbook as GambetDC and is now offering a geofenced app to customers in the city.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA opened the door for state legislatures to legalize sports betting. Pennsylvania moved quickly and passed legislation in 2018, with retail and online sportsbooks launching in November 2021. Its first online sportsbook was SugarHouse, followed by FanDuel and DraftKings. Other sites like PointsBet and BetRivers soon followed. In 2024, Ohio became the second state to legalize sports betting after voters approved a ballot initiative. Its online sportsbook launched in January 2023. The state’s licensing model tethers online sportsbooks to existing casinos, with each licensee allowed three sportsbook apps.