⚫ NJ lawmakers want colleges to be smart if they pair up with a betting site

⚫ Legislation mandates gambling prevention education on campuses

⚫ A group wants these partnerships to be prohibited

There's not much stopping a college or university in the Garden State from teaming up with a sports betting platform that wants to advertise on campus to students and staff.

But New Jersey lawmakers want to make sure that if these partnerships do pop up, colleges are also taking an extra step to help ensure that students don't get hooked on wagering.

Under legislation approved by the Assembly Higher Education Committee, any higher education institution that participates in a sports wagering partnership would also have to establish a gambling education prevention program.

The program would have to provide students with materials that promote responsible gaming behavior. The institution would also be required to provide students with information about outlets for help with a gambling problem.

Earlier this year, major colleges from across the nation announced multiyear partnerships with sports betting companies. New Jersey 101.5 could not identify any such partnerships in the Garden State.

Felicia Grondin, executive director for the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, believes deals between colleges and sports betting operators should not exist in the first place. But CCGNJ supports the legislation's concept of providing prevention education on college campuses.

"The Council strongly discourages sports wagering partnerships since many university students are below the legal age of gambling and research has consistently shown that those under 21 who participate in or are exposed to gambling are far more likely to develop gambling problems later in life," Grandin told the Assembly committee.

Grondin said calls to the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline from individuals aged 18 to 24 have doubled since 2018, the year sports betting became legal in New Jersey.

Before the Assembly committee voted unanimously to advance the legislation, Grondin requested that partnerships between colleges and sports wagering operators be prohibited.

In March of this year, the American Gaming Association updated its Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering to include a prohibition on college partnerships that promote sports wagering activity.

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