The NCAA Steps Up Official Betting Partnerships With DraftKings and FanDuel

The sports betting industry has grown rapidly since the Supreme Court overturned a federal ban in 2018, and many states now have legalized wagering. Consequently, it’s more important than ever for professional sports leagues to keep close tabs on their betting habits and partnerships with bookmakers. But it’s not always easy to do.

The NFL, for example, recently suspended five players between six games and an entire season over unauthorized wagers placed on non-NFL games in places like Ohio and Iowa. In those cases, global position technology — or in simpler terms, the fact that players are using an app and logging their location — helped investigators identify suspicious behavior such as point shaving or game-fixing.

But with sports betting now available in so many places and more than half of college-age students reporting having made a bet in the past year, the NCAA is taking steps to protect its student-athletes and the integrity of its competition. The organization has a new e-learning module, and it is partnering with integrity firm U.S. Integrity to educate more than 500,000 current and prospective student-athletes on problem gambling harms, the risks of illegal betting and the benefits of responsible play.

NBA officials have also stepped up their outreach to athletes and are now naming DraftKings and FanDuel co-official partners of the league, giving them expansive rights to use official data and NBA marks and logos in sports betting products. The NBA has also started a video series that pairs veteran players with current student-athletes to discuss the dangers of sports betting and how they have found success in managing their own gambling habits.