NCAA gets tough over single-game betting
August 11, 2009
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved a controversial policy that bans states from hosting college sports championship if they allow single-game wagering.
The policy was announced at the end of last week after a federal judge denied a request by the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball to halt Delaware’s planned reinstatement of sports betting, which had been dormant since 1976 when the state offered it for just one year.
Chancellors and presidents from the three NCAA divisions approved the measure, saying it applies to “any session of an NCAA championship,” though it does not apply to states that allow only parlay betting, lottery tickets, pull tabs and sports pools.
The ruling extends from NCAA championship games to regional games, such as the format used in college basketball and baseball. Las Vegas, for example, has hosted several regional women’s basketball tournaments with the last coming in 1992.
Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon were grandfathered into a 1992 congressional ruling that banned sports betting because they already operated it the time. Oregon no longer has any form of sports betting, and Montana does not take bets on single games.
The ruling does not impact conference championships or non-Bowl Championship Series bowl games. Las Vegas hosts both the Mountain West and West Coast conference basketball tournaments and will add the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament for the three years beginning in 2010. The city also hosts the Las Vegas Bowl.
Sports betting brought in more than $150 million to the state of Nevada last year, according to the Nevada Gaming Commission. Of that, the second-largest percentage after football came from college basketball.
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