The NCAA‘s longstanding efforts regarding sports betting continue to evolve alongside the US online gambling industry’s rapid growth.
The association remains focused on protecting student-athletes well-being and the integrity of the competition.
NCAA sports betting rules forbid student-athletes or athletics employees to gamble on any sport sponsored by the NCAA at any level. The organization also prohibits students or employees from sharing information for sports betting purposes.
With recent gambling scandals occurring among college and professional sports teams, NCAA emphasizes it has never been more important to:
- Continue to provide educational tools
- Monitor services
- Research data to mitigate future problems
NCAA president initiated national survey on sports betting among young adults
Soon after starting his role in March, the NCAA president Charlie Baker decided to prioritize the issue of problem gambling among youngsters. In particular, he identified student-athlete mental health as a top priority.
Baker was brought to the NCAA because of his governmental experience.
He has recently initiated a national survey regarding sports betting among young adults between 18 and 22. The results will be released in the coming weeks. Baker said:
“As more states legalize sports betting and as hundreds of millions of dollars are spent advertising to young people across the nation, everyone from parents to coaches, campus leaders, state regulators and the NCAA have to work together to make sure all young people know the rules and know what problem gambling looks like.
Advertisers may see this as an emerging market, but this could be an emerging threat to young people everywhere if we all don’t work together.”
The NCAA plans to conduct an even more comprehensive national survey of student-athletes on sports betting in the 2023-24 academic year.
NCAA is aware of the enhanced risks that sports betting creates
As the American Gaming Association estimated, players would spend over $15 billion during March Madness on the 2023 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The shocking amount didn’t include money gambled on the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, with record-breaking crowds and TV ratings.
As the NCAA reported, Stan Wilcox, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs, said:
“While sports wagering creates opportunities for our fans to uniquely engage with NCAA competition in a legal and responsible manner, we have to be mindful of the enhanced risks it creates, particularly around student-athlete well-being and competition integrity. Those areas have been a key priority for us, and we’ve tried to roll out initiatives in a manner that creates the most value for the membership.”
The sports betting industry started to expand in 2018 when the US Supreme Court declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional. The move opened the door for states to offer legal sports betting.
There are currently 33 states, plus the District of Columbia, allowing bets on athletic competitions. Three states legalized sports betting but have yet to launch the markets, while eight additional states are considering legalization.