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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The MAC Conference makes the plunge on Gambling money, more to follow?

The MAC Conference makes the plunge on Gambling money, more to follow?

The MAC is all in!
Publish Date: 05/27/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
ATHENS, OH - NOVEMBER 16: Balls ready for play before a Mid-American Conference game between the Toledo Rockets and the Ohio Bobcats on November 16, 2021 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The MAC takes the plunge into Sports Gambling

The NCAA’s stance against college athletes gambling on sports can be summarized by the slogan that the association gives to its member schools: “Don’t Bet on It!”

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For decades, the rules have not been ambiguous. This is part of the foundation that has supported half-million amateur athletes. College conferences are exploring ways to make a profit, with sports betting legalized in over half of the US and millions flowing to once-apprehensive pro sports leagues.

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The Mid-American Conference was the first to take the plunge and license its data and statistics rights to Genius Sports. Genius Sports will then sell them to sportsbooks.

You can expect others to follow but there will be more responsibility. Legalized gambling is a new way to navigate the changing landscape of college sports. With athletes now being able to make money from their fame, and the viability, and necessity of the NCAA, in question, it’s a time when there has been a lot of change.

Although the NCAA doesn’t prohibit these types of business deals from happening, actual betting on college sports is still illegal for the participants and coaches.

Matthew Holt, of US integrity, stated that while they were able to say “Oh, that’s happening over there,” before, the moment you get paid directly from sports betting comes with some responsibilities. Integrity is a company that monitors for any gambling irregularities and works with college conferences and professional sports leagues.

Holt stated that college sports are ripe for scandals because of a lack of transparency regarding player availability, an explosion of endorsement deals for athletes involving boosters, and the potential for unpaid students to simply bet on their own success.

Holt stated that the United States is on track to make $125 billion in sports betting this year.

Holt stated that the NCAA men’s basketball tournament generated $20 billion in bets this year. More money is wagered on a college football Saturday than an NFL Sunday.

Online sportsbooks have made financial arrangements with all major professional sports leagues, but college conferences have struggled to join the game. Jon Steinbrecher, MAC Commissioner, stated that it was impossible to ignore this changing reality. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the MAC conference!

“We’ve actually brought sports betting out of its dark corners and made it more transparent and sunny. It has more eyes. He said that this is a positive and not a negative.

Genius’s help could make weeknight MAC football more appealing than ever for gamblers in the coming season. MAC games could find a bigger television audience than those weeknight games that very rarely draw much attention.

Genius and the MAC declined to disclose financial terms. Navigate, a Chicago-based company that conducts research and data analysis for college conferences and professional sports leagues estimates that the agreement to access legal sports betting could be worth anywhere from $1 million to $1.5million per year for the MAC conference.

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What the Power Conferences could earn?

Navigate used publicly available data on legal sports betting and data licensing agreements made to professional sports leagues to project that the Southeastern Conference would make $15 million to $20 million annually under a similar deal to the MAC.

Projections for the Big Ten range from $13 million to $15 million, and $5 million to $10 million for other Power Five conferences.

Genius, a London-based company, provides protection to its partners, including the NFL through data analysis and relationships between the sportsbooks. Sean Conroy is Genius Sports vice president for North America.

Conroy stated that the NFL’s partnership was crucial to the revelations that led to Calvin Ridley, an Atlanta Falcons receiver, being suspended for betting on NFL games.

Holt, an Arizona conference participant, warned league executives and athletic directors officials from the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 about the differences between college sports and professional sports, which make colleges more vulnerable to corruption.

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