US Sen. Blumenthal Doubles Down On College Sports Betting Scrutiny

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is renewing his call to end college sports betting partnerships, this time targeting 66 colleges and universities.

In letters obtained by The New York Times, Blumenthal requests that the schools disclose any ties they have to sports betting companies and detail resources made available to address underage gambling. Blumenthal previously sent letters to executives at PointsBet, Caesars, and the American Gaming Association in December, and has expressed concerns about the harm that gambling can pose to students, particularly those not legally old enough to gamble.

“The opportunity for lucrative deals has caused some casinos and sportsbooks to target universities, despite the very real harm gambling poses to students, many under the age to legally gamble,” Blumenthal wrote, according to The NY Times.

Blumenthal’s office did not immediately respond to LSR‘s request for comment.

States weigh college sports betting partnerships

PointsBet announced Wednesday it will end its partnership with the University of Colorado.

Maryland lawmakers are weighing a bill that would prevent inducements like referral bonuses from college sports betting partnerships, though PointsBet has said its deal with the University of Maryland is incentive-free. Meanwhile, New York regulators are exploring an outright ban on such partnerships.

Louisiana State University, which partners with Caesars, had to apologize earlier this year after sending what it called accidental marketing emails to underage students. Caesars also has a partnership with Michigan State University.

Industry lobby updates marketing code

The AGA is the only entity that responded publicly to Blumenthal’s earlier letters. The organization’s president, Bill Miller, acknowledged the concerns, and on Tuesday, the AGA updated its Responsible Marketing Code to prohibit college partnerships, except for alumni network deals and responsible gaming promotions.

Those changes only impact AGA membership, however, and neither Caesars nor PointsBet are members.

Blumenthal’s latest letters give schools a month to respond. They were selected for their large athletic department budgets.