Maryland Bill Would Stop Universities Receiving Money From Operators

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on February 27, 2023
Maryland Sports Betting Bill End Referral Bonus Agreements

A new gambling bill circulating through Maryland would prohibit colleges from receiving compensation from sports betting operators.

Introduced by Senator Shelly Hettleman, SB 620 would, among other things, make public any specifics regarding partnerships between Maryland sports betting operators and universities. 

New Maryland sports betting bill has legs

The bill language reads:

“Prohibiting institutions of higher education from entering into a contract with a certain regulated gaming entity or a certain agent of a regulated gaming entity if the institution of higher education receives certain compensation for student participation in certain sports wagering.”

The bill continues: “Providing that a certain contract formed by a public institution of higher education is subject to public inspection in accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act.”

Could this affect college sports betting partnerships?

The bill follows a series of New York Times articles detailing the partnerships between universities and sports betting operators.

In 2020, the University of Colorado inked a five-year $1.6 million deal with PointsBet that included advertising space at CU sporting events, on-campus recruitment opportunities, and a $30 referral bonus every time someone used the CU promo code.

After the New York Times articles were released, Steve Hurlbert, the university’s chief spokesperson, said the university has decided to discontinue the referral fee bonus. 

According to Seth Hornstein, chair of CU’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committeeany compensation received by PointsBet was used for gambling addiction support resources. However, referral bonus money has been minimal two years into the agreement. 

“We felt it would make something good come out of the agreement. Some of that money would be invested back into the university to help student-athletes and students, staff and faculty in general,” Hornstein said. 

Bill is getting zero pushback in Maryland

Hettleman’s bill received a hearing in the Senate Energy, Education, and Environment Committee on Wednesday. The committee, however, took no action.

Regardless, Hettleman said there has been zero pushback from her colleagues. “I have to tell you, so far, I’m not getting opposition from our university system,” Hettleman said. “I’m pleased about that.”

At least eight universities have signed deals with sports betting operators like CU. Some notable agreements include:

  • Louisiana State University + Caesars Sportsbook
  • Michigan State University + Caesars Sportsbook
  • University of Colorado + PointsBet
  • University of Maryland + PointsBet
  • Texas Christian University + WinStar World Casino and Resort (casino deal only)
  • Syracuse University + Turning Stone Resort and Casino(casino deal only)
Photo by PlayUSA
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

View all posts by Nicholaus Garcia
Privacy Policy