The NCAA announced on Thursday that they support a federal model addressing legalized gambling and that they have suspended, and potentially ended, a ban on championships being held in states that allow sports betting.
This comes just days after the Supreme Court ruled that states can decide on their own if they want to allow legalized sports betting.
“Our highest priorities in any conversation about sports wagering are maintaining the integrity of competition and student-athlete well-being,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a release. “Sports wagering can adversely impact student-athletes and undermine the games they play. We are committed to ensuring that laws and regulations promote a safe and fair environment for the nearly half a million students who play college athletics.”
Emmert added, “While we recognize the critical role of state governments, strong federal standards are necessary to safeguard the integrity of college sports and the athletes who play these games at all levels.”
This is a move that the NCAA needed to make, as there will be more places around the country with casinos that will eventually have legalized sports betting available. For the time being, what this means is that the NCAA is going to allow Las Vegas to host NCAA championships. The city is already a place where college basketball has a major presence, not just with the summer recruiting scene but during Championship Week, when the Pac-12, the Mountain West, the WCC and the WAC all hold their conference tournaments in Sin City.
Now, however, we may end up seeing an NCAA tournament regional final being held in Vegas.
And that would be awesome, but it probably won’t happen any time soon. The hosts for all NCAA tournament sites have already been determined through the 2022 season.