NCAA Looks to Sports Betting for Additional Revenue

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Charlie Baker, the NCAA president, surprised many when he suggested that the organization should consider sports betting partnerships in order to generate more revenue.

Baker made the comments at an event in Washington, DC, titled “The Future of College Sport” that was hosted by the University of Arizona. According to reports, Baker said, “We have a major opportunity to get into the sports betting space”.

He then explained that the market consists of “anybody who has a phone” and who can place bets from wherever they wish. According to Baker, “Two-thirds to almost three-quarters of all people between the ages of 18 and 22 are (currently) betting on sports.”

While these ideas sound bold and surprising, Baker did stress that the NCAA will establish a program to engage with the problem of putting student-athletes in the potentially difficult situation of having numerous students on their campus betting on their team. As such, Baker explained that the NCAA will work to ensure that the program is widely supported and carefully developed.

Baker said that the NCAA “dramatically underperform[s]” across several revenue-raising opportunities and said that they will be receiving a great deal of attention over the next four to six months. While he did not provide much detail, he did suggest that sports such as women’s basketball, women’s softball, baseball, and volleyball will become the focus over the coming months.

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