The Supreme Court ruling Monday to put an end to the federal ban on sports gambling opened up a number of conversations within athletic departments around the country.
Given the sports gambling laws are now in the hands of the states, sports-gambling restrictions could vary as college athletic programs travel around during their respective seasons — unless the NCAA comes up with a sweeping new rule to allow gambling on college sports by student-athletes in the states where it would become legal.
It’s a slippery slope that some argue could compromise the integrity of the game, but more important, it’s something compliance offices are going to have to figure out so their players stay within all the rules.
In an interview with The Athletic’s Jason Kersey, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork offered an idea that seems like a natural fit: a compliance office employee focused specifically on gambling and gaming laws.
“We have eight full-time compliance officials right now, and they’ve obviously got full-time jobs,” Bjork said. “So if you add gaming and regulation to that, maybe you need an expert who is specifically aligned on gaming laws. We think it’s probably going to require an increase in staff as well as external resources to monitor.
“Those are things we need to get our arms around.”
While it would cost the university more money, it’s probably worth it to keep that one 5-star player eligible to compete. It’s still yet to be determined if any of these gambling revenues could flow back to the university.
Other facets at play include the NCAA coming to grips with the fact that athletes it deems as amateurs may bet on other games.
While it may take months or years for some states to make a decision on whether they legalize it within their borders, it’s clear Bjork and others already have begun to prepare for the possible change.
Correction: Jason Kersey’s media outlet was identified incorrectly in the original post. SEC Country regrets the error.