Massachusetts Universities Send Letter to State in Opposition of College Sports Betting

Say no to sports betting legalization

Seven Massachusetts universities and colleges have penned a letter to the State House to express their opposition to a bill that would legalize college sports betting in the state. The letter points out the institutions believe that student-athletes would be at risk, along with the facility’s integrity and culture.

all in agreement that the change would have a negative effect

The presidents and athletic directors of Harvard University, Boston College, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, College of the Holy Cross, Northeastern University, and Merrimack College signed the letter. They are all in agreement that the change would have a negative effect on colleges and universities in the state.

Sports betting legislation in the works

A provision was placed in the economic development bill HB 4887 earlier in the year that would legalize sports betting and include college athletics. In July, the House of Representatives approved the provision, but the Senate voted against it.

Some senators are in favor of legalized sports betting, but not via the economic development bill. Because of the back and forth between the House and Senate, a compromise committee was created to construct a compromise bill and introduce it to both chambers for approval.

Legalized college sports betting is too risky

The group feels that sports betting will compromise the integrity of competition as well as promote unhealthy, financially risky habits among students. The administrators also stated they felt the option would deplete the already limited resources of the universities.

Administrators believe that legalized gambling could put pressure on athletes to engage in match-fixing.

often leads to more corrupt and unethical actions”

“Doing so clearly harms personal and institutional values, has no place in college sports, and, as history shows, often leads to more corrupt and unethical actions,” the letter reads.

The letter also points out that students might feel the need to provide information to gamblers about their classmates, such as the health of athletes and playing status, which would provide beneficial data to the gambler.

The university and college administrators pointed out that they do understand the need for new revenue streams in this difficult economic climate, but believe that Massachusetts can reap the benefits of sports betting without allowing wagers on college events.

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