Professors Can Bet on Student Games: US Sports Gambling Laws Should be Updated

It was three years ago when the Supreme Court decided in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association that 21 states would be allowed to allow their citizens to gamble on sports. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of these states did not let this information pass without taking security measures, thereby imposing strict measures on the ability of personnel involved in the sport to gamble.

Since then, the limitations have been maintained only for athletes, coaches, and high-ranking people in the professional sports environment. When it comes to college sports games, things are different. Professors and faculty members have no restrictions on betting on their students. Yet, is this where the moral factor comes into play?

Sooner or later, it will be crucial to update the gambling laws to avoid corruption or manipulation between the two parties at colleges and faculties. Although, this type of ban should not be imposed by the faculties but by the states.

The Current State of College Sports Betting

Compared to other countries, college sports and the possibility of betting on its games is unthinkable outside the United States. In the 21 states where sports betting is permitted, a school administrator or undergraduate faculty member can establish their power in up to three different ways in the context of college sports betting.

The clearest example would be the case of a university professor who asks a student to lose a game to benefit both sides. For the student, this would be to get a better grade, while the professor could get a large sum of money as in the casino games available for US players on the Internet.

The following case would be a faculty member who could get inside information about a game in exchange for something that would favor the player. The last case, and perhaps the most dangerous, would be a faculty member harassing an athlete/student after losing a bet. This could lead to aggressive outcomes since the lack of bankroll management on the part of the bettor comes into play.

Actions Taken by Some Faculties

There is no prohibition for members of colleges and faculties to place sports bets. This has led many universities to take action in their own hands.

The most obvious case was in October 2019, when Purdue University passed a policy that created quite a bit of controversy. This policy was called the “sports wagering policy,” which prohibits any member of the university from placing bets on Boilermaker sporting events.

The controversy of this policy was created because colleges often do not have the power to act. Many colleges may try to impose some type of regulation, but it would be in vain if they have unionized members.

If this is the case, then the no-gambling policy is required to first go through union approval to get the traditional process of a collective college ban.


As expected three years ago, the still-new sports betting laws in the United States have their pros and cons. The legalization of the 21 states is well underway, although with more freedom in the gambling world comes more moral issues.

In the case of teachers who can bet on student games, it is clear that an update of the gambling laws is needed to control possible cases of manipulation and corruption.

Indeed, Purdue University may have been a topic of debate and controversy. Still, even then, it was the right path towards measures that the country hopes to see imposed shortly to achieve a safer gambling environment.