New Jersey Lawmakers Put Responsible Gambling At Forefront Of College Deals

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on May 31, 2023 - Last Updated on June 26, 2023
New Jersey Steps Up Responsible Gambling Efforts

A gambling bill circulating through Trenton would make New Jersey colleges rethink how they navigate partnerships with sports betting operators.

Authored by Assembly Deputy Speaker Mila Jasey, bill A5498 would require any New Jersey public college or university partnering with a sportsbook to provide students with responsible gambling materials. 

New Jersey responsible gambling bill details

The bill appears to be in response to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) updated Responsible Marketing Code which bans college partnerships promoting, marketing or advertising sports wagering to college-age audiences using the term “risk-free.”

The risk-free wave comes after the NBA banned sportsbooks from using the phrase “risk-free” in advertising on the league and team-controlled platforms. Additionally, FanDuel dropped the term from its sportsbooks and replaced it with the phrase “sweat-free.” 

Other operators that have dropped the term are:

  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • Caesars

In March, PointsBet and the University of Colorado at Boulder (UC-Boulder) announced a mutual termination of their groundbreaking partnership. 

At the time, the UC-Boulder and PointsBet said:

“PointsBet and the University of Colorado have decided it is mutually beneficial to end their partnership at this time. Both parties are thankful for the joint efforts throughout the relationship and wish the best for each organization going forward.”

No exceptions in New Jersey

The AGA code, however, does make an exception for college partnerships that market toward alumni networks or content focused on responsible gambling initiatives. 

The New Jersey bill does not make that distinction. 

Per the bill:

“Sports wagering partnership means a partnership or contractual agreement between a sports wagering operator or intermediary and an institution of higher education, including an athletic department or booster club of the institution, for access to advertising in the institution’s stadiums and other facilities, in digital and broadcast sports content, and through other means.”

Under the bill, regardless of the partnership’s intentions, responsible gambling material must be made available to all students. According to the LegiScan summary of the bill, it “requires public institution of higher education to establish gambling addiction prevention programs.”

Currently, no colleges or universities in New Jersey have deals with any US sports betting operators. 

Jasey’s bill also comes on the heels of an NCAA survey, which revealed that 58% of 18 to 22-year-olds have engaged in sports betting, despite many being too young to gamble legally.

For now, the bill remains in the NJ Assembly Higher Education Committee and awaits further action.

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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.

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