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Michigan Gaming Regulators Host College Sports Betting Discussion

When regulated sports betting became a big part of American life, few anticipated the actual impact it would have on athletes at all levels. Across the country both professional and college athletes have seen their relationships with a certain level of fan turn into something more toxic than the standard negative comments they might have once faced after a mediocre, or even a really good, performance.

This increased level of criticism has been especially hard on college athletes, who aren’t as well prepared to deal with getting a death threats after “ruining” a gamblers prop bet with an off-performance. This week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board held a panel discussion to try to figure out how best to protect college athletes from the dangers of sports betting, and the people who are actually making sports bets.

The discussion included stakeholders from throughout the sports betting world including the NCAA, BetMGM, Integrity Compliance 360 (IC360) and the FBI. Their main topic of discussion was how compliance rules can help support athletes and keep them from getting in sports betting trouble.

At the discussion, Dan Trolaro, Co-Managing Director of Education and Training Services at IC360 summed up the need for more education for players saying, Athletes are risk takers and are conditioned to know if they practice, they can get better, but the problem is that’s not how gambling works. Current K-12 educational curriculums include discussions about drugs, alcohol, and stranger danger but not about gambling, risk taking, and decision-making. We need to create curriculum about gambling so that we can empower our student-athletes and equip them with the tools they need to succeed in life after college.”

Though the panelists came to no real conclusions, most agree that bans on college prop bets and increased education are likely the best tools for protecting vulnerable college athletes from the pitfalls of sports betting.