University of St. Thomas Hires Sports Betting Monitor Prior to D1 Move

Written By Cheryl Coward on May 16, 2024
The University of St. Thomas has hired a sports betting monitor firm.

In an environment that has seen numerous betting scandals involving college athletics, some schools are going on the offensive.

Add the University of St. Thomas to that list.

The private university in St. Paul recently hired sports betting compliance and monitoring firm ProhiBet. The move comes as the university’s sports program transitions from Division III to Division I, joining the University of Minnesota as the only D1 schools in the state. 

According to St. Thomas Associate Athletics Director of Development Andrew Nelson, ProhiBet will provide “cross-monitoring and education of student-athletes, coaches, and administrative staff as it relates to sports wagering.”

Survey Says Half of College-aged Students Bet on Sports

The NCAA has strict rules against sports betting by its member institutions. It prohibits student-athletes and athletics department employees from making wagers or providing “any useful information that can influence a bet in any sport the NCAA sponsors at any level.”

However, given the spate of recent cases involving high-level D1 athletes and coaches, those rules are not always followed. A September 2023 survey found that 27% of NCAA member institutions dealt with sports betting issues among athletes and administrators during the previous year.

The hiring of ProhiBet also comes before Minnesota sports betting is even legal. Lawmakers this week are making a final attempt to pass a sports betting bill this session, but the odds of success remain low. Sports betting is legal, however, in the state directly south of Minnesota: Iowa.

Sports betting scandals involving college athletes actually date back more than a century. But as more states legalize sports wagering after the Supreme Court decision in 2018 opened the door, reports of illegal gambling connected to college sports have risen.

Another NCAA survey from last year found that 58% of 18- to 22-year-olds had engaged in at least one sports wagering activity.

What Will ProhiBet Do for St. Thomas?

St. Thomas currently competes in the Summit League and is in the third year of the mandated five-year reclassification period. 

Nelson said the school hired ProhiBet to get in front of the illegal gambling issue.

“Thanks to unprecedented levels of sports wagering in the United States and recent events involving both professional and collegiate athlete and staff participation in sports wagering activities, there has never been more of a need for colleges to proactively work with someone to ensure not only compliance with NCAA rules, but all the state laws and regulations as well.”

ProhiBet says it can help universities combat unsanctioned sports wagering and ensure compliance with state laws. Its technology enables sportsbooks to block unauthorized bets by providing encrypted, identifiable information about players, coaches, and sports department employees. If a listed individual attempts a prohibited bet, ProhiBet blocks the bet and alerts the school.

The firm will also provide St. Thomas with responsible gaming training for athletic departments with “a proprietary e-learning platform which contains an audit tracking system for visibility on course progress.”

Other college clients of ProhiBet include George Washington University, Virginia Tech, and some D1 conferences, including the Big 12 and the Mountain West.

Photo by AP Photo/Craig Lassig
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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She's a die-hard women's basketball fan and founded the website as a result of that passion. She loves writing about sports on all levels and has previous experience covering sports betting regulations, operator marketing campaigns, and women's sports gambling topics.

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