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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Learfield, U.S. Integrity Form College Sports Betting Watchdog

  • As the sports betting industry’s foothold in college sports continues to grow, so do concerns about corrupt gambling.
  • Learfield announced a partnership with U.S. Integrity to create a product to help police sports wagering.
(College-Betting-US-Integrity-Learfield)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

As the sports betting industry’s foothold in college sports grows, so do concerns about corrupt gambling. One major college sports company has created a product to help police it.

On Tuesday, Learfield announced a partnership with U.S. Integrity, a responsible sports wagering watchdog, to create a product to assist athletic departments with betting “monitoring, education, and advisory services.”

A few athletic departments have launched initiatives to support responsible betting. But Learfield’s program provides arguably the first major responsible gambling supervisor in the college sports space since betting operators first entered the industry.

  • The program, called BetDetect, will offer athletic departments a way to conduct “integrity monitoring.”
  • It will use data analysis to find “potentially suspicious wagering activity and irregular contest-level patterns.”
  • U.S. Integrity has already worked with the Pac-12 and SEC.

“Schools want to avoid game manipulation, match-fixing, and other potentially nefarious behavior,” said Matthew Holt, CEO and co-founder of U.S. Integrity.

Bring On the Bets

Betting on Power 5 sports has become an industry worth $11 billion annually, according to U.S. Integrity data. This year’s College Football Playoff drew about $500 million worth of bets alone.

Sports wagering profits are flowing directly to schools, too, through department-wide sponsorship deals with betting operators — LSU and Colorado have already signed them.

Partnerships are even possible in the NIL space.

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