Should Universities Encourage Gambling?

Was curious about this article*, which suggests eight US universities accepted millions from sports betting companies in return for promoting them among students. Is this article fair? Is it a reasonable way to help cover costs?

*Will summarize if there are the usual paywall complaints.

That is totally fucked up. Just my opinion.

FYI, here is a gift link to the article.

And I don’t think universities should be accepting money from these companies. And in some cases described, the school gets more money for each person who downloads the apps and places bets, which seems a bad idea.

No one should encourage gambling. Gambling is a vice that brings impoverishment on many.

What the fuck is up with American universities? $30,000 a year in tuitions, and they’re still trying to grift off of students?

We should expect much much better from the nation’s leading academic institutions. Sports betting by college students has already been problematic for decades.

While I enjoy betting modestly on sports myself, in no way should it be promoted by a university to one of the least disciplined demographics we have.

Universities seem to be increasingly engaging in a la carte activities designed to enhance revenue at the expense of their students. Just another – arguably ON-topic – example:

Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a report on terms and fees associated with banking products marketed in partnership with colleges to students. The report raises questions about whether some marketing deals between colleges and financial institutions comply with Department of Education rules.

But this is America, and what’s more American than doing everything possible to start these kids off to an adulthood saddled by as much debt as is metaphysically possible?

Thanks for posting. I’m a bit of a zealot when it comes to gambling. I find the idea that universities in the US can be incentivized to start their students gambling just horrifying.

I don’t want to sidetrack this thread away from its initial focus by broadening things out. But if the debate does broaden, I may come back with some stats.


Sports gambling, especially, is becoming a plague. It’s going to cause significant additional human damage, and will cause several devastating scandals in major sports.

They shouldn’t encourage drinking either and binge drinking among underage college students is probably a much worse problem yet billions in alcohol ads have been accepted for decades. All legal vices are fair game.

College math prof here, concur entirely with this disapproval. I know of undergraduates who damn near ruined their lives in the online poker boom a decadeish ago, and sports betting isn’t any better.

There are plenty of legal adult activities that a reputable higher education institution should nonetheless discourage its students from engaging in. E.g., excessive drinking, expressing sexist/racist/homophobic/etc. attitudes, and flaunting wealth, to name but a few. Gambling of any kind should definitely be among those officially disapproved behaviors.

Why not just have the chemistry department crank out methamphetamine?

Universities that enter into these deals to promote gambling by students are potentially risking major damage to their sports teams - at least, as long as the NCAA ban on gambling by student-athletes holds up (the Times article doesn’t mention whether university e-mails encouraging students to gamble are carefully sorted so as not to target athletes).

In coming years it’s likely that rules will be relaxed to allow corporate logos on college and university team uniforms (it’s already done for teams playing in corporate-sponsored bowl games). If logo placement becomes as prominent as it is for pro soccer team uniforms, expect to see Caesar’s Sportsbook playing Barstool Sports for the NCAA football championship. :wink:

Then you just end up with problems involving cartels and your DEA brother-in-law.

I had a similar experience decades ago when charitable/Indian casino gambling started. This was back in checking days, ATMs were few and far between. I used to cash checks for regular customers and gambling put a stop to that. I got tired of bounced checks and going to court to try get my money back from people I had seen daily for years. I lost dozens of customers from each store I owned. Seriously, I had people that were bouncing checks so they could play bingo!

I never did like my BIL, the bald headed bastard.

I watched a very promising, smart young guy drop out of college and ruin his life because he started playing poker and unfortunately had very good luck in the beginning. That hooked him, and he decided to turn ‘pro’.

Eventually he lost his bankroll and took a job driving cab. Then he lied to his parents and said he was buying a house, and used the downpayment they gave him as his bankroll - and lost that too. He then went up north to the oil rigs because he heard the games were soft. He vanished up there, and never came home. Years later, no one still knew what happened to him.

I don’t think we’ve gotten a clear answer to the thread title’s question, so here’s a poll:

Should Universities Encourage Gambling?

  • No
  • Hell no
  • What, are you f-in’ kidding?

0 voters

Once a person gets addicted to gambling there are three possible outcomes:

  1. They go into Gamblers Anonymous
  2. They destroy their personal finances, and then go in to Gamblers Anonymous
  3. They just destroy their entire lives

I used to work for an online gambling company - yes, I have no shame. It is one of the most fun areas for a software engineer to work - everyone is testing your security and everyone is trying to get ahead of the competition. So a great place, aside from the very boring “test the gambling” part.

We had a guy in the early 2010s who blew US$10 million on just my smallish casino. Ten fucking million.

He tried to sue us claiming we took advantage of his addiction, but casinos don’t work like that. Our “head office” was nominally on the Isle of Man, but once you filter through all the myriad holding companies and shells, you get to a fairly normal business in South Africa or Israel (or, technically both, nepotism is rife)

I knew a guy who blew $100,000 on scratch tickets and thought that was a rough example.

He got help, though.