- Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut is working on a sports betting bill to help protect college athletes from corruption in their games due to legal sports wagers.
- The bill would appoint a special group to oversee that athletes are not being targeted to throw games.
- Utah Senator Mitt Romney has a bill of his own for athletes at the collegiate level that he wishes to get off of the ground.
HARTFORD, Conn. – Drafts are currently being worked on for a new sports betting bill centered around protecting collegiate athletes by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. The purpose of the bill would be the formation of a non-federal entity that’s sole purpose would be to ensure the safety of amateur sports players when it comes to the exploitation that comes from gambling on their games.
Under early drafts of the bill, athletes would be given the proper knowledge on what to look out for when it came to games that were trying to be fixed. A small gathering of about 120 people at the Aspen Institute were informed of this new bill idea on Tuesday.
“There is a way that we can have an anti-corruption agency that can identify where those matches are fixed; that has primary responsibility for educating those athletes as to how they can identify when they’re being approached,” said Donna Lopiano, the president and founder of Sports Management Resources.
Senator Mitt Romney Wants A Different Collegiate Sports Bill
Senator of Utah Mitt Romney has been working closely with New Yorker Charles Schumer, the Democratic Senate Minority Leader to come up with a bill at a federal level for the way sports betting is done on collegiate sports. Romney would like to have a select group of analysts examine ways that athletes in college could receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness (NIL) being used.
“I think we recognize that this is not fair to have these athletes give the kind of time they give to their sport and not receive any type of compensation or iteration, particularly in a time where they come from poor families in many cases,” said Romney.
“What you can’t have is a couple athletes on campus driving around a Ferrari when everybody else is basically having a hard time making ends meet. And you can’t have a setting where some schools in major markets or have big-sport followings, some schools are like the honey pot, and all the great athletes want to go to all the great schools, then you kill collegiate sports. There needs to be some adjustment to the name, image and likeness approach to make sure we don’t create those problems.”
Romney understands that his bill has little to do with sports betting but he would like states that offer legal sports betting to explain to their residents to practice a certain set of standards. This includes not abusing their ability to wager on college games by using players in any way to “fix games”.
After further studying for NIL, they may find a bigger connection between that and the wagering on sporting competitions. However, for now, Romney’s fight is with compensating college athletes correctly.
The Senator out of Utah may be a little late to the party on the issue of NIL for all of the players in college. Yes, he wants a federally recognized bill that would span nationwide, so from that aspect there is a difference. But, the Fair Pay To Play Act was signed into law in California in September.
This law allows college athletes in the state of California to accept compensation for their NIL.
The Bottom Line
Connecticut’s bill is looking to protect amateur athletes from being hurt by legal sports betting and throwing games. In theory, that sounds like a great idea but no one bill or law can sway an individual that is actually playing in the game.
It’s more of a personal moral problem where an athlete, if approached to “throw a game”, would need to say no. A law may or may not factor into what they would do from a personal standpoint.
As for Utah, their federal bill for compensation would definitely even out the playing field for college athletes nationwide. That seems more like something that would prove helpful to college games throughout the country. At this point, California student-athletes are getting the unfair advantage of the Fair Pay To Play Act.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.