This comes days after The New York Times reported that U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, sent a letter to 66 colleges and universities requesting information about any current or potential partnerships with sportsbook operators and asking what the schools are doing to combat problem and underage gambling.
“Senator Richard Blumenthal, asserting that gambling causes “very real harm” to students, has asked 66 colleges to provide information about their marketing relationships with sportsbooks”
Senator Seeks Details of Schools’ Deals With Betting Companies https://t.co/UCgw3mJPt8
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) March 29, 2023
“Universities, and their athletic departments, have a duty first and foremost to protect student health,” Blumenthal wrote. “Certain factors — such as their age, stress, and past substance abuse or depression histories — make students especially vulnerable to gambling addiction. Experts have said that it can be difficult for young people to recognize their inability to gamble responsibly, so it is deeply concerning that universities are willing to partner with sports betting companies.”
He further asked the academic institutions if they were willing to vow to never enter into such marketing agreements with sportsbooks.
AGA enters the chat
The dissolution of the PointsBet-University of Colorado deal also comes in the same week the American Gaming Association issued updates to its marketing guidelines, calling for an end to sportsbook-university partnerships that promote wagering activity. The AGA is not a government agency, so its code has no teeth, but it was still a notable change of tune.
If and how the new developments played into the decision by PointsBet and the University of Colorado to end their partnership wasn’t addressed in their joint press release.
“PointsBet and the University of Colorado have decided it is mutually beneficial to end their partnership at this time. Both parties are thankful for the joint efforts throughout the relationship and wish the best for each organization going forward,” the joint statement said.
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) March 30, 2023
The two first linked up in September 2020, with the original agreement calling for PointsBet to pay the university at least $1.625 million over the five years. Additionally, the university would receive $30 for each new player that signed up with a specific referral code, but that was discontinued this January.
PointsBet, which is not a member of the AGA, also has a partnership deal with the University of Maryland.