The NCAA has begun an advocacy campaign as it seeks to pressure state legislators to include specific language to protect student-athletes.
The student athletics regulator is seeking a range of measures, specifically designed to protect competitors and those involved in collegiate competition.
The approach taken by the body was to analyze legislation on a state-by-state basis and cherry-pick the measures it deems most important. The NCAA suggests that they are ‘currently in place in at least one state but not all, creating an uneven playing field and leaving student-athletes vulnerable.’
The NCAA’s suggestions are as follows:
- Mandatory harassment reporting and penalties:
- Each state regulator, or their designees must have a reporting hotline for student-athlete harassment
- Each state regulator to be given power to place those suspected of harassment breaches on temporary restrictions while law enforcement investigates
- Require both operators and regulators to monitor for harassment and coercive behavior, and mandate that state regulators refer such behavior to law enforcement or other gambling enforcement units
- Making sports wagering education mandatory for student-athletes, officials and relevant staff
- Prohibited bettors list: make it mandatory for each regulator to keep a list of prohibited bettors
- Allow college sport representatives a seat on the regulator board
- Ensure the legal age for sports betting is 21 and over. Some states allow sports betting from 18.
- Enforce mandatory marketing standards, ensuring the harassment hotline, problem gambling and/or prohibitions on harassment in relation to sports wagering
- Provide further funding to support at-risk student-athletes and population, including money for investigations into unregulated sports betting markets that target colleges across the United States
The NCAA outlines that given the rapid legalization of sports betting across a multitude of states, and that 38 different sets of rules and regulations exist, it can prove problematic for regulatory oversight.
Several collegiate sporting leagues have taken measures to safeguard the integrity of their leagues, namely through partnerships with U.S. Integrity and ProhiBet. ProhiBet is specifically designed to provide information on prohibited bettors and assist all industry stakeholders to navigate the challenging regulatory landscape.