LSU Faculty Discuss Responsible Gambling During Presentation

Written By Derek Helling on January 25, 2023
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LSU announced Caesars’ sponsorship shortly after legal sports betting in Louisiana began. Now, a discussion on the merits and process of the Caesars LSU sponsorship included many concerns that members of the university’s Faculty Senate brought to a presentation.

One report from the meeting suggests there might not be much resolution to those concerns.

Senate members questioned whether Caesars and LSU’s athletic department have gone far enough to promote responsible gambling. In addition, they voiced concerns about what they perceived as a lack of transparency from athletics.

Faculty Senate has its say on Caesars LSU sponsorship

According to Olivia Butcher of the LSU Reveille, athletic department staff made a presentation to the university’s Faculty Senate regarding the promotional partnership between the online gambling company and athletics.

Among the details that athletic department representatives shared about the deal is its length, running through at least 2026. The comments from Faculty Senate members comprised most of the dialogue, though.

Butcher reports that members expressed they felt the partnership was contrived in secret. “I didn’t hear about this until literally the last minute,” Professor of Sociology Edward Shihadeh stated.

Athletic department staff responded to that concern. They explained that because the partnership is between the athletic department instead of the entire university and Caesars, athletics did not need Faculty Senate approval.

The staff stressed that they received approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors. The other issue that LSU faculty brought up carries far more weight.

Responsible gambling concerns dominate the conversation

Butcher says that multiple Faculty Senate members took issue with the proximity of Caesars advertising to venues where students and other people under the age of 21 are on campus. Specifically, members brought up a poster that reads “Caesars know their limits.”

Assistant Professor of Trombone Hana Beloglavec said:

“I do not feel that shows responsible gambling, it shows that if you gamble with Caesars, you are a good person because you know your limits, and it endorses engaging in a very addictive behavior.”

Butcher does not report athletic department staff addressing those concerns directly. Rather, Butcher states the athletic department circled back to the financial value of the sponsorship.

“With a partnership like this, they become one of our most high-level givers to LSU Athletics, so that’s a big part of this,” LSU Deputy Athletic Director for Revenue Generation Clay Harris said. “They’re contributing a good bit of funds to this…and it’s a financial gain.”

LSU faculty do not seem too interested in the dollar amount of the partnership, however. Due to the structure of the deal, their objection might not matter much. However, it seems there’s a wide gap between LSU faculty and the athletic department on this issue.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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