Get exclusive CAP network offers from top brands

View CAP Offers

West Virginia Targets Betting-Related Athlete Harassment

Regulated sports betting has been a huge boon for state governments, adding over $1 billion in tax revenue each year. That money funds everything from the maintenance of state parks to programs aimed at stopping problem gambling. Of there’s been a dark side to the sports betting boom, especially on college campuses where problem gambling is a growing problem and where student-athletes are finding themselves harassed by disgruntled bettors.

In West Virginia, Delegate Shawn Fluharty has introduced a new bill (HB4700), that’s aimed at punishing anyone who harasses a college athlete over his or her impact on a sports bet. Fluharty’s idea is to permanently ban anyone found to be harassing student-athletes in this manner with a lifetime sports betting ban.

HB4700 is straightforward addition to the West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act that reads, “A patron may be banned from sports betting pursuant to subsection (d) of this section if the commission determines that the patron has harassed or shown a harmful pattern of conduct directed at a sports official, coach or any participants of a sporting event.”

This type of harassment is a growing problem, especially on social media, that’s also being addressed by the NCAA. A recent article from points the organization’s two-pronged approach to the problem which includes a database aimed at tracking where the harassment is coming from, as well as a new media campaign titled, Draw the Line.

As sports betting continues to grow, it’s a near certainty that these types of bills will become more and more common.