Legal Sports Betting and the NCAA’s Official Betting Partner Program

As legal sports betting continues to gain traction in the United States, professional leagues have gained much more visibility into how bets are placed on their games. With that visibility comes lucrative partnerships with sportsbooks and new revenue streams for the leagues. But it also enables them to identify and combat any potential integrity issues in the system, up to and including point-shaving and even game-fixing.

In a world where the NFL has suspended five players over sports betting, it’s important for student-athletes to be aware of the risk and take precautions to avoid it. The NCAA has created an e-learning module designed to help educate students on the harms of problem gambling and the risks that sports betting poses to the integrity of competition. The modules are available to all members of the athletic community, including student-athletes, coaches and staff.

Legal sports betting is now available in 30 states, plus Washington DC, and the number of states that will eventually launch online betting sites is growing. Many of these sites have forged partnerships with sportsbook operators, including DraftKings and FanDuel, who have signed on as official partners in each of the states where they operate.

The NBA is also an official sportsbook partner with the two major online betting platforms, giving them expansive rights to integrate NBA data and content into their sportsbooks and daily fantasy sports offerings. In fact, the NBA’s partnership with DraftKings and FanDuel is one of the largest and most comprehensive sportsbook deals in history.

Outside the United States, the approach to sports betting varies. The European Union, led by countries like Sweden and Denmark, has a well-established legal framework that focuses on regulating the industry. In Asia, a number of nations have legalized sports betting, while Africa is experiencing rapid growth with regulated online and land-based options. Australia is another major market with a diverse mix of both regulated and unregulated markets.

In the United States, the federal government’s position on sports betting is unclear. President Donald Trump has not taken a position on the issue, and there is debate over whether the federal ban should remain in place. In addition, the Supreme Court’s decision on PASPA left the question of federal versus state jurisdiction in doubt.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, New Jersey took a proactive approach by passing legislation to allow sports betting in its casinos and racetracks. This allowed retail and online sportsbooks to open in the state, including SugarHouse, BetRivers and other brands. However, the major sports leagues challenged this move in court, and a lower-court ruling sided with them. This case will likely be appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In the meantime, New Jersey is implementing a phased-in approach that will ultimately allow for legal online sports betting in 2023. It will be joined by a handful of other states, including Ohio. This is a crucial development for the industry, as more people become aware of the legality of sports betting and the benefits of responsible gaming programs.