NCAA Denies Monitizing for Sports Betting

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

The NCAA denies it is looking to monetize legalized sports betting but Forbes reports they laying the groundwork to do exactly that.


"We’re certainly not looking at from the NCAA's point of view, ‘How do we monetize this great opportunity?’" NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in New York. "But at the same time you have to recognize that for us, this is mostly about how do you maintain the integrity of the game? How do you fit this into the collegiate model of the game? How do you work with your media partners?"

The NCAA announced a deal with a company that provides sports data and technology services.

In announcing its new partnership with Genesis Sports, a subsidiary of BetGenius, the NCAA never makes mention of sports wagering.  BetGenius already offers its services to betting operators in the United States and internationally, including a sportsbook management platform and digital marketing."

The NCAA said the initiative "will benefit the NCAA’s more than 1,100 member institutions across all three divisions and will be used in select NCAA championships, starting with men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in 2019."

The NCAA has to act as over a dozen states have already legalized sports betting or are in the process of doing so.  Back in May, the U.S. Supreme Court abolished decades long prohibition against the activity.

A Genius Sports spokesperson told ESPN the partnership with the NCAA does not include any betting rights.

"Nowhere in the release does it say anything about sports wagering," Brett Smiley, who runs the legal sports betting site, said in a phone interview. "It has everything to do with sports wagering. This deal is about laying the foundation for them to monetize this new environment.

"Genius Sports is probably paying them like $300-$400 million for 10 years for exclusive access to their data to then disseminate to sports books. So just keep that in mind when they're talking about integrity."

Considering more than $150 billion was bet on sports in 2017 (before the U.S. Supreme Court made its decision), the NCAA has every reason to get into the business.

- Aaron Goldstein,

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