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The NCAA College Basketball tournament kicks off Tuesday. Millions of Americans are expected to watch the games and bet on them.
According to a new survey from the American Gaming Association, 68 million Americans are expected to place over $15 billion in bets on the tournament this year.
As sports gambling becomes increasingly popular on mobile platforms, colleges and universities are getting in on the action through multi-million dollar partnerships that allow companies to advertise on campuses.
Investigations from The New York Times and the PBS Newshour found at least five major colleges (Michigan State, LSU, Maryland, University of Denver, and the University of Colorado) have partnered with companies like Caesar’s Sports Book and PointsBet.
These partnerships concern Saul Malek. He’s a graduate student at Southern Methodist University near Dallas, Texas.
He found himself tens of thousands of dollars in debt after two years of betting on sports that started his sophomore year of college:
I really needed the action, like a heroin user would need that next fix. I wasn’t acting like a rational person who would see that they have a problem. I was so anxious I needed to have the next bet, that’s how I’m going to fix this.
What do responsible gambling practices look like?
Business and Economics Correspondent for the PBS Newshour Paul Solman, UCLA Gambling Studies Program Co-director and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA Dr. Timothy Fong join us for the conversation. Also with us is Vice President of Strategic Communications & Responsibility for the American Gaming Association Cait DeBaun and The New York Times‘ Alexandra Tremayne-Pengelly, and The San Antonio Express News’ Elizabeth Sander.
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