Massachusetts universities against betting on college sports

Staff from eight Massachusetts colleges have written to legislators.
Staff from eight Massachusetts colleges have written to legislators.

Sports betting is not currently legal in Massachusetts, but state legislators have been considering a Sports Wagering Act.

US.- University presidents and athletic directors in Massachusetts have written to legislative leaders to ask them not to allow betting on college sports in the state’s potential sports betting legislation.

They argue in the letter that legalising betting on college sports would cause “unnecessary and unacceptable risks to student athletes, their campus peers, and the integrity and culture of colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.”

The letter argued that including college sports in betting legislation would put pressure on students to influence the outcome of games in return for benefits from betting interests.

The signees, who come from the eight Massachusetts colleges and universities with Division I sports programmes, wrote: “We recognize that during the current difficult economic climate, the Legislature desires to develop new sources of revenue, including sports wagering.

“But like other states, Massachusetts can gain those benefits without legalizing college sports betting,”

“Such a limitation is necessary to safeguard the longstanding distinctive role and contribution of student-athletes as well as to preserve the integrity of intercollegiate athletics in the Commonwealth.”

The letter was addressed to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka and the six legislators that have been weighing up Massachusetts’ Sports Wagering Act, which would grant sports betting licences for land-based outlets and via mobile and online platforms.