NJ Seeks to Include a Responsible Gambling Mandate in Sportsbook-College Deals

06/08/2023
News
Online Casinos New Jersey

Highlights

  • Any sportsbook-college agreement would be bound to the law’s guidelines
  • Gambling addiction prevention programs will be required immediately after the bill goes through
  • A problem gambling hotline will be required on campus websites

Since New Jersey embraced legal gambling in 2013, there has been a ballooning questionable relationship between legal online casinos/sportsbooks and college administrations. Last month, the rise in these deals captured the attention of one NJ lawmaker. The legislation drafted by Assembly Deputy Speaker Mila Jasey could redefine the partnerships between sportsbooks and colleges/universities.

Introduced on May 25, Bill A5498 seeks to ensure public colleges and universities partnered with NJ online casino apps and sportsbooks implement a gambling addiction prevention program. The program would provide students with information promoting responsible gambling behavior.

Bill A5498 Particulars

If signed into law, the drafted bill would be enacted immediately. The legislation’s lack of co-sponsors and the fact that Jasey’s office has yet to speak on it do not seem like challenges that would stand in the way of it going through.

The proposal, which is only two pages long, states that any college/university in an agreement with a sportsbook operator to advertise sports betting in the institution’s facilities or digital and broadcast sports content would be subject to the bill’s guidelines. Also, these schools must provide a hotline to aid those struggling with gambling addiction. The hotline must be shared on the institution’s websites alongside their sports facilities, libraries, dormitories, and other suitable campus provisions.

The Proposal Aligns with Industry Goals

While the rationale behind the Assembly Deputy Speaker’s drafting of this bill is unclear, it seems like a reaction to the latest Responsible Marketing Code by the American Gaming Association. Based in Washington, DC, the AGA serves as the commercial gambling industry’s lobbying arm. The recent update to its Responsible Marketing Code prohibits operators from marketing seemingly “free” bets and online casino promos to underage college students.

Many NJ betting operators like Caesars, BetMGM, and DraftKings voluntarily eliminated such language from their advertisements before the law update. Also, the NBA banned sportsbooks from using terms like “risk-free” in advertisements by the league and team-controlled platforms.

Rising Gambling Addiction Puts Microscope on Sportsbook-College Partnerships

Surprisingly, Bill A5498 comes at a time when there is intense scrutiny of the relationship between sportsbook operators and colleges. The growing attention comes after considerable growing pains of the evolving legal gambling industry involving two high-profile colleges came to light.

The University of Colorado terminated its partnership with PointsBet Sportsbook after it was discovered the institution reportedly received $30 for every student that signed up with the operator. It also received the same amount when the students spent real money.

Michigan State University also ended its contract with Caesars Sportsbook four years ahead of schedule. MSU athletic director Alan Haller stated that while the deal was initially a good thing – worth roughly $9 million to the university – it did not serve the institution’s best interests in the future. Louisiana State University also ended a high-profile deal with Caesars shortly after that. Such partnerships are ridiculed for the purported rise in gambling addiction among college-attending Americans.

Slimmer Odds for NJ Sportsbooks and Colleges Teaming Up

If Jasey’s bill is passed, partnerships between New Jersey universities and sports betting operators seem highly unlikely. New Jersey already has laws prohibiting legal sportsbooks from accepting wagers on games involving colleges or college athletes within its borders. This law has discouraged attempts for state schools to sign partnerships with sportsbooks in the five years NJ sports betting has been legal. Adding Bill A5498 into play will further discourage such deals from taking place.

Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.