The signs are all there. The American Gaming Association (AGA), an industry group, has changed its guidelines to stress that college-aged individuals and audiences must be protected from pernicious influences, which are more or less gambling advertisements on campus. One by one, such partnerships have begun to drop like dominoes.
Some Partnerships Disappear, and Others May Evolve
First, there was the University of Colorado. Now, Maryland legislators want to pass legislation that will limit the opportunities for such agreements to take place in the way they have done so far – with a lack of transparency according to lawmakers who are pushing for tougher measures. The University of Maryland, one of the universities in the state, is teaming up with PointsBet, but the partnership may soon need to be revised if the legislation is passed.
This doesn’t mean that PointsBet or the University of Maryland have to give up on their collaboration – just revisit it. In the case of the University of Colorado, the split-up happened on amicable terms and without much consternation for either party.
A repeat may not be necessary for Maryland, however, as lawmakers are looking to strike a middle ground Commenting on the possible passage of a ball that denies the legal right of universities to have gambling sponsorships, Stop Predatory Gambling national director Les Bernal said:
“The real-life effect of this proposed bill in Maryland is like giving a knee brace to an emergency room patient with a gushing head. This bill is an attempt to give the appearance that something is being done on this, but the reality is, nothing is being done.”
The bill in question, HB0802, is backed by Jheanelle Wilkins and a sister bill, SB0620, was filed with the Senate by Shelly Hettleman. Both are hoping that they will gather enough support and momentum to clean up institutions of higher education from sports gambling. The idea is to make sure that these institutions are also not profiting from the sports betting of students.
Make It Not Possible for Colleges to Collect Fees
Essentially, the law will prohibit colleges and universities from accepting referral fees – these are the fees that advertisements on campus may generate when they send new depositors to the sportsbooks that they are partnering with.
This would be prohibited either directly or through third parties. Of course, some commentators, including Bernal are far pushier when it comes to the arrangements that should exist between colleges and universities and betting companies – they should not exist in the first place, he argues.