Colleges Can Now Sign Sports Betting Deals? University Of Colorado Partners With PointsBet

Posted on September 8, 2020

The deals keep coming for Australian-founded PointsBet.

PointsBet is the first sportsbook operator to sign a gambling agreement with a US college, the University of Colorado. Sportico was the first to report the story with PointsBet later confirming the five-year agreement.

The deal includes sports betting, casino, fantasy and free-to-play contests. PointsBet, which has its US headquarters in Denver, will get signs around the University of Colorado’s football and basketball stadiums as well as media mentions.

PointsBet’s agreement with the university is similar to other deals it’s signed recently. The sportsbook started with signing the first MLB partnership with the Detroit Tigers in July. A month later, PointsBet signed on as the exclusive gaming partner for the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center.

“It is an honor to become a partner of the Colorado Buffaloes, where we look forward to bolstering general sports betting knowledge and responsible gaming awareness while recruiting some of the best and brightest minds to help install a foundation for prolonged success,” US CEO Johnny Aitken said.

PointsBet, of course, isn’t just signing team sponsorship deals to boost its Michigan and Colorado sports betting business. It recently inked a massive five-year agreement with NBCUniversal as its official sports betting partner.

What Colorado says about PointsBet deal

The University of Colorado seems plenty pleased with the deal.

“We’re thrilled to have PointsBet as a partner and for the benefits this sponsorship will provide for our student-athletes for years to come,” Athletic Director Rick George said. “We are impressed with their commitment to raising awareness around responsible gaming. And we’re particularly excited whenever we can partner with sponsors who call Colorado home.”

PointsBet didn’t disclose the financial terms of the agreement. Anything helps right now, though, with Colorado’s sports budget taking a big hit this year.

All Pac-12 sports are postponed until at least Jan. 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But wait…doesn’t sports betting hurt the integrity of college sports?

The PointsBet deal is helping keep the lights on at a university’s sports department while sports are on hold.

According to many NCAA stakeholders, however, sports betting intends to kill the integrity of college sports.

That was certainly a theme of July’s “Protecting The Integrity of College Athletics” hearing in Congress. Heather Lyke, the athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh, called for Congress to ban betting on all college athletics during the hearing.

“The introduction of legal wagering on intercollegiate athletics will have a corrosive and detrimental impact on student-athletes and the general student body alike,” Lyke said in her prepared remarks. “Gambling creates pressures and temptations that should not exist.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert has also been a staunch opponent of gambling.

“Sports wagering is going to have a dramatic impact on everything we do in college sports,” Emmert said. “It’s going to threaten the integrity of college sports in many ways unless we are willing to act boldly and strongly.”

PointsBet on its way to Colorado

PointsBet might have a few marketing agreements in place, but no one in Colorado can bet on the platform just yet.

Colorado took a backseat to PointsBet’s plans for Illinois sports betting. Its Colorado launch will come shortly on the heels of its launch in Illinois, which should come this month.

Photo by David Zalubowski / Associated Press
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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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