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Colleges & Universities

Published: February 24, 2020

Responding to the Spread of Legal Sports Betting.

Legalized sports betting has received significant news coverage over the past year. Ever since a U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the door for states to legalize sports betting, many states have been passing legislation to do just that.

The rapid spread of legalized sport betting has gotten the attention of colleges and universities. Many are beginning to consider what additional measures may be necessary to protect the integrity of their games. While there is no national consensus on how to respond, some states and universities are beginning to take decisive actions.

In Arkansas, the state university system approved a policy that prohibits employees and students from placing bets on school teams. Students can be suspended for violating the policy and employees could be fired.

Villanova, in Philadelphia, adopted a similar policy last November – barring employees and students from gambling on athletic events involving the school’s team. The university said that its aim was to “strike the necessary balance” between the state’s regulation and the NCAA’s rules.

In Mississippi, major universities have taken a series of steps to deter misconduct. Universities there have coordinated an extensive education and public awareness campaign for students, employees and fans. They have also made arrangements with the Mississippi Gaming Commission to be made aware of any athletes or coaches who place substantial bets or win large sums at casinos.

It’s not yet clear if these trends will continue to spread across the country, but as the amount of money placed on sports betting continues to grow – so, too, must the way that universities respond.  

For more information on responsible gambling practices, visit

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