With New Jersey basking in the glow of its sports betting success over the last three months with handle topping $900 million each month and 20 online and brick-and-mortar choices to choose from, gambling education has become a major focus for sports betting platforms. And now collegiate sports conferences are looking to teach student-athletes about the risks.
The America East Conference, a Division I collegiate athletics conference with 10 schools including Newark-based New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and Sportradar Integrity Services have announced a partnership to implement an integrity program. It is aimed at educating the conference’s student-athletes and other key stakeholders about the increasingly important topic of sports betting integrity, according to a news release.
“As regulated sports betting expands across the U.S., America East recognizes the risks this can pose to student-athlete well-being and the integrity of our competitions, and we wanted to work with experts to help protect our athletes and competitions,” Amy Huchthausen, commissioner of the America East Conference, said in the news release. “Sportradar Integrity Services is the leader in this field in the U.S. and globally, and it was a straightforward decision to trust them with this important task and mission.”
Although college sports betting is legal in New Jersey, bettors can’t bet on Division I New Jersey-based college teams or on any major collegiate events held in the Garden State. That stance could change however, as state senate Bill SCR133, sponsored by state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D), calls for a constitutional resolution to amend the current law to get collegiate wagers on N.J. schools legalized in the state.
In early November, the bill was reintroduced to the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee where it was given the pass to move on through the required channels toward legalization. If the bill passes the state House and Senate, it could see the residents of the state vote on a ballot question in November.
What will Sportradar be providing?
Sportradar is currently designing and developing educational material for America East student-athletes in the coming months, the release said. Its team of integrity and college sports experts, as well as professional educators, are creating the educational content, which will draw upon Sportradar’s integrity experience over 15 years.
Topics to be covered will include best practices for identifying and reporting integrity concerns, rules and regulations around sports betting and match-fixing, responsible gambling and inside information misuse, case studies of game-fixing incidents and more.
The company is also supporting America East Conference administrators with the implementation of best-in-class standard operating procedures to govern the intake, review, management, and investigation of any potential integrity concerns that arise in the future, the release said.
“Sportradar is proud to play a pivotal role in efforts to protect the integrity of US collegiate sports,” Andy Cunningham, head of integrity services for North America at Sportradar, said in the release. “College sports face unique integrity concerns due to the youth and amateur status of their athletes and the substantial betting interest in their competitions. America East has taken a proactive and thoughtful approach to this topic, and we’re honored the conference has placed its trust in Sportradar.”
Established in 1979, the America East Conference is primarily located in the Northeast and East Coast and sponsors 18 men’s and women’s sports.
Sportradar’s Integrity Services unit supports more than 80 North American and international sporting bodies, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, United Soccer League (USL) and other collegiate sports organizations, the release said.
Other NJ schools getting into the mix
In late January, Entain Foundation U.S. and EPIC Risk Management announced the launch of a player education initiative with U.S. colleges and universities on a series of gaming awareness sessions.
Two New Jersey schools - Seton Hall University and Monmouth University (West Long Branch) — have joined the initiative, which will be focused on education and awareness and the need to keep betting safe as sports wagering and gaming continues to expand in the U.S.
Neighbor Fordham University (The Bronx, New York) has also joined.