College Sports Betting and Gambling

A sportsbook is a place where people can place bets on sporting events. It can be a physical location that offers in-person betting, or it may be a retail operation operated by a casino or racino (combination race track and casino). Previously, sportsbooks were only legal in Nevada but thanks to a Supreme Court decision in 2018, sports betting is now available throughout the country.

The ruling is changing everything. Suddenly sports and gambling are intertwined in a way that’s been unheard of. And the industry’s embracing it. Now you see odds and lines and point spreads infused into media coverage and in betting ads.

Betting groups are able to find originators who can beat the line based on their models or other handicapping efforts, and they pay them handsomely. The betting group then uses the originator’s system to bet into hundreds of accounts simultaneously, using what is known as a bot. The bot is instructed to bet a certain line and specific prices, so for example, it might be told to bet on the Mariners at +125.

The problem with this type of betting is that it can lead to college-age students chasing their winnings and putting themselves at risk of developing problematic gambling habits. In addition, billion-dollar ad campaigns can entice student-athletes or those around them to bet irresponsibly. The NCAA is trying to address these issues. In 2023, the NCAA surveyed campus administrators and found that 10% of Division I respondents said they were aware of student-athletes or athletics staff being harassed online or in person by bettors with gambling interests.