Is Legalizing Sports Betting Good for Organizations like the NCAA?

Last May, in a long-awaited court decision that will have a significant impact on college sports, the United States Supreme court decided a federal ban on single-game betting in states not named Nevada. IN a decision for Murphy versus National Collegiate Athletic Association, which has been heard in federal courts since 2012, the federal court ruled that the government overstepped its powers by breaching on the states’ rights in violation of the 10th Amendment when they passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

With Delaware and New Jersey just waiting to pass a sports-gambling law, and at least a couple other states within the next few years, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and institutions connected to it are urging the Congress to pass another state and federal law that will regulate and implement laws on sports gambling. The National Collegiate Athletic Association says that college sports, as well as professional leagues, need laws to protect the ethics and fairness of the games.

They said without the government’s protection the games and the athletes, and the league itself, will face problems with match-fixing. In particular, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is worried college athletes will engage in some game fixing to make ends meet since they only pay these college athletes in education benefits, unlike professional sports athletes, who are paid in millions for salary.  If you want to know about NCAA pick records, visit

While educational benefits can be worth at least a hundred dollars through the span of the athlete’s college careers, it will not give them extra money to help their families. It is the reason why some gamblers, especially established bookies will entice these athletes to provide some information about the games, or worse; they will offer money to fix the games.

Knowing that fixing a game and accepting cash from sports gamblers is not only a violation of NCAA rules and regulation, but also a criminal violation, the question is, why would a college sport athlete is willing to risk expulsion or worse, jail time and potential professional career to fix games?  The answer is “money.” There are millions involved in this kind of business.

According to the NGCB or Nevada Gaming Control Board, at least $300 million was gambled on the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament out of the $4.8 billion bet with Nevada sports bookies last year. While the numbers seem large, NGCB estimated an additional $150 to $300 billion was wagered under the tables or illegally.

It includes an estimated $10 billion on the NCAA Basketball tournament. So, even though the NCAA educate their student-athletes on the risk of sports betting and gambling with their future, with that kind of money involved, it is very easy for the gamblers to entice the student-athletes to fix games for them.

The federal court and the Supreme Court’s decision may not be a surprise for people connected to this case. Pro sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL have been discussing with legislators on how to influence new state and federal laws, but the NCAA, as well as the institutions connected to them, is only reacting after the courts made their decisions.

But instead of lobbying the states, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is urging the government, both federal and state, to pass a law on sports gambling, a good effort but it is a little too late. With the National Collegiate Athletic Association drops the ball on sports gamblers, athletics departments of their member schools are trying to catch up asking the state legislators about their concerns.

But at the moment, the only solutions the state has come up with are paying the colleges a little portion of the gambling money to fund the school’s athletics department to help monitor illegal betting lines and work with sports bookies, and prohibit gambling on any state-sanctioned sports tournaments.

(To know more about the NCAA, click here.)

Since colleges are opposed to paying their student-athletes with any gambling money, many sports pundits suggest that the government should set aside any gambling money that might have gone to the schools and give it to the youth sports programs all over the country. It will ensure a steady flow of skilled student-athletes in the future as well as defined the difference between professional and college sports.