Although the University of Colorado’s (CU) partnership with sports betting operator PointsBet remains intact, one aspect will change going forward.
In 2020, the university inked a $1.6 million deal with PointsBet. The five-year agreement included advertising space at CU sporting events, on-campus recruitment opportunities and a $30 referral bonus every time someone used the CU promo code.
But according to Steve Hurlbert, the university’s chief spokesperson, the university has decided to discontinue the referral fee bonus.
Changing the landscape of Colorado sports betting
The 2020 partnership was the first of its kind, jumpstarting a new trend where legal, regulated sports betting operators partnered with universities across the US. According to the New York Times, at least eight universities have signed deals with sports betting operators. Other universities have similar arrangements with brick-and-mortar casino operators.
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)
At the time of the deal, Seth Hornstein, the chair of CU’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, said university officials decided to use the referral bonus money for gambling addiction support resources.
“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.”
However, the referral bonus money has been minimal two years into the agreement. While the gambling industry, as a whole, has been thriving in Colorado, the university only collected $1,830 from its referral bonus last year, according to Hurlbert.
The latest Colorado sports betting numbers show Coloradans gambled over $552 million in November, a 4.9% increase from October. As a result, sportsbooks collected more than $37 million in revenue leading to $2,581,533 in tax revenue for the state. That’s a 10.8% increase month-to-month from October’s tax total of $2,330,705.