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MSU Ices Caesars Partnership as Colleges Shed Sportsbooks

Michigan State University is ending its partnership with Caesars Entertainment four years ahead of schedule. The home of the Spartans is just the latest American university to exit what once seemed looked like a very lucrative intersection between big-time college sports and regulated sports betting.

With the dissolution of the deal, Caesars logos will be removed from Spartan Stadium in Lansing and the cash flow from Caesars to MSU will cease. Though it means a loss of exposure for Caesars and loss of income for MSU, both parties seemed happy with the deal.

When the American Gaming Association (AGA) banned these types of partnerships after major blow back (and not a few scandals involving college athletics) universities and sportsbooks began breaking up. The University of Colorado, the first university to partner with a regulated operator (PointsBet), was also the first to ditch that kind of partnership and now others are following.

While inundating hyped-up college students with sports betting promos at football games looked good on paper, the potential for major problem gambling issues among America’s college students has been steering the argument lately. That sentiment picked up steam recently when an NCAA survey found that 67 percent of students living on college campuses were regular bettors.

MSU athletic director Alan Haller summed up the situation in the Lansing State Journal saying, “Initially, it was a good thing, but I don’t think it’s in our best interest moving forward.”

As of this writing only two universities (LSU and the University of Denver) have retained relationships with sportsbooks; thought it’s unlikely either one of those deals will be around much longer.