“It’s just another Keno or Bad Beat Poker.”

Money, as we know, talks.  When it comes to sports betting, though, it’s more like a shout.

The American Gambling Association estimates that about $150 billion is wagered each year on sports, with all but $5 billion of it done illegally, through local bookies or off-shore accounts. That’s why some believe widespread legalization of sports betting won’t greatly impact college athletics.

Wanna bet?  Maybe it won’t change the reality that people like to gamble on sports, but it sure as hell is going to change how schools and conferences approach sports betting.  You can’t monetize illegal betting, but bring that stuff inside the tent and it’s off to the races.

In states that pass new laws to introduce sports betting, Youmans expects 75% of sports bettors who have been gambling illegally to turn to legal avenues and 25% to continue betting in the shadows with bookies and online outfits.

You do the math.  That’s some sweet action and you can bet the schools are going to want their fair share of it.  Of course, there will be a price.

Meanwhile, league officials have at least briefly discussed the potential for standard, mandated injury reports across the conference, something that Andrews believes is needed. At many Las Vegas casinos like the one where he works, betting limits are lower for college games than for their NFL counterparts because of the lack of school-issued injury information during game week.

“Only thing we’re worried about right now is what will be the mandate for coaches and athletic departments to let us know what the injury situation is,” Andrews said. “We’ve been shooting in the dark all these years. We’re kind of used to that, but if it’s going to become something nationwide, they need to address that like the NFL.”

They need to.

Not to worry, as long as the checks keep coming.  The NCAA and its membership have shown no problem embracing the needs of their broadcast partners.  There’s no reason to expect this embrace to be any less warm.  Although I’m not sure “gambling partners” has the kind of ring schools prefer.  Ah well, it’s all for a good cause in the end.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

12 responses to ““It’s just another Keno or Bad Beat Poker.”

  1. Jared S.

    I’ve got so many friends, acquaintances and colleagues who think it’s smart/exciting/interesting/advantageous for gambling on sports to become bigger/stronger/more pervasive in all sports.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in feeling it’s actually a cancer that’s part of “the problem,” and nothing that will be a net positive for any sport I love.

    Am I alone?


  2. TimberRidgeDawg

    Seems like this would run afoul of HIPAA and FERPA laws with students but I suppose where a buck can be made there is a way.

    Mandatory injury reports for NFL teams to support the gambling community come with the territory and of course these are professional athletes so they are getting paid to give up their privacy. I don’t believe the league gets direct compensation for providing that information. It’s just standard business practice in acknowledgement that gambling drives a lot of interest in their games.

    Colleges, on the other hand, have stood behind the privacy rules forever in withholding the injury status of student athletes for the game on Saturday. Of course a lot of that is gamesmanship by the coaching staff to keep opponents guessing or they could simply state that a player will be out on Saturday without elaboration. Lack of injury reports has never stopped gambling on college athletics in legal venues like Vegas. Bettors have just had to live with the uncertainty. For colleges to turn around now and sell this information to make a few bucks because the Supreme Court says states can now open Sports Books if they so choose is the height of hypocrisy.

    If they do sell this information, who is going to write the check and how does that business model work and how much would it cost them? If the NFL does it for free, then why would they pay NCAA any fees at all?

    What about suspensions for unspecified violations of team rules such as failed drug tests or selling autographs? The bettors will damn sure want to know that as well.

    Maybe I’m underestimating the lure of a local sports book but I can go online and gamble anytime I choose today. Location really doesn’t matter for e-commerce anymore. Even if it were a local sports book, I’d probably hit their website to place a bet. I don’t necessarily believe the betting community is greatly under-served (if this hurts the underground betting business, it’s just shifting the same money to a legal venue). The new law just creates a greater legalized pie with some incremental growth because of the initial novelty and maybe some more ads on the radio and tv to drive traffic.


  3. ASEF

    It was kind of inevitable in a world where there’s a lottery billboard every 15 minutes and a casino every 500 miles. Want to create a business where you can take suckers for all their worth, as long as the government gets a cut? All it takes is a good lobbyist.


  4. DawgPhan

    If those numbers are real isnt this a huge deal? Look what TV money has done to college football and that is nothing compared to this.

    $2billion over 15 years compared to even 1% of $145billion per year?

    Mcgarity will have us cheering for the fightin mgm grands


    • PTC DAWG

      Y’all are funny thinking Georgia is going approve sports gambling in the near future…they are looking out for us..never forget it.


      • lakedawg

        You can bet your sweet bippy that if Sonny Perdue or Nathan Deal could get some land deal or cut otherwise we would be all in.


      • DawgPhan

        not sure it matters if Georgia does it. There are enough states across the SEC footprint to make the SEC have to deal with it.


  5. The Dawg abides

    Anyone know if there are restrictions on betting on high school sports in the states where sports betting is already legal? It’s almost guaranteed big money would be put down in Texas for example.


    • PTC DAWG

      I know there are lines on games in SGA now…but I doubt it will ever be legal…it isn’t in Nevada now.


  6. Ugamelt

    How long until B-M sets up a betting window inside Sanford? Why take 1% when you can take 9%?