Why legalizing sports betting is good for the NCAA?

Why legalizing sports betting is good for the NCAA

Every year, millions of Americans watch NCAA games, both from the stands and on TV, and the vast majority of them also show their support by betting. In other countries, the idea of betting so much on college sports may seem odd, but here in the US, it’s part of sports culture.

First of all, the US invented college sports and, secondly, college games play a huge role in athletes’ careers. The NFL, the NBA, and the other major leagues draft players from college teams, so young athletes are really motivated to do their best.

 

Although they’re not as experienced as the professionals, many people watch the NCAA because, overall, the games are quite intense, and every game feels like a final. And hence the popularity of NCAA sports betting.

And yet, paradoxically, the NCAA has had a complicated relationship with betting. Historically, the Association has been against betting and fought hard not to legalize it. In the past, they even refused to hold matches in the states where sports betting was legal.

For many years, Nevada was the only state where fans of college sports were legally allowed to bet but started to change in 2019, when numerous states, such as Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa, lifted the ban on sports betting. The activity remains illegal in several states, while others only allow online sportsbooks.

Although other professional leagues ultimately agreed to legalize betting, the NCAA is still advocating for a ban. That decision can seem hard to understand, considering that the Association would have much to gain if it changed its stance.

The NCAA could benefit financially from the legalization of sports betting.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the US sports market, but if major leagues such as the NFL and the NBA have had the budget to recover (albeit with huge losses), the NCAA is facing a financial crisis. College football, for instance, could deal with $4 billion in losses.

But if the Association came to terms with sports betting and had a more tolerant approach to it, betting could provide a much-needed stream of revenue that would ensure financial continuity.

Besides, by approving of betting, the NCAA could earn a lot from marketing deals with casinos and online sportsbooks.

A legal & regulated sports betting system promotes transparent betting practices.

The fact that the NCAA does not approve of sports betting doesn’t mean that fans won’t do it. On the contrary, history has proven that banned activities tend to thrive in the shadows. In the case of sports betting, people can resort to many shady practices and shortcuts, many of which being unsafe.

But, as experts from the American Gaming Association have pointed out many times, a regulated betting system would allow for more transparency, and player safety and corruption cases would be easier to detect.

The NCAA has come forth many times, saying that sports wagering can be harmful, especially for young athletes, but that doesn’t mean a healthy balance can’t be reached.

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