A quartet of Arkansas college athletic directors have submitted their thoughts on rules that will govern college sports betting in their state.

Athletic directors Hunter Yurachek of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Terry Mohajir of Arkansas State University; Chasse Conque of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and Melvin Hines of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff submitted a joint letter to suggest edits to the sports betting rules proposed by the Arkansas Racing Commission in its draft rules for licensing and overseeing casinos.

As reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the letter begins with fears over what a gambling scandal would do to the reputation of the state’s universities and students. 

"No one can deny the tremendous financial and reputational harm that a sports betting scandal would cause to our state universities and student athletes, along with millions of fans, alumni and donors who support them. The loss of confidence in the integrity of our events (and the State's gaming licensees) would be irreparable. Given such risks, we believe the Commission's regulations must reflect the important role that our colleges, universities, and their sports governing bodies play in any lawful sports wagering framework."

The athletic directors addressed two aspects of the Racing Commission’s proposed rules, urging caution in who can bet, while also suggesting enhanced communication among casino licensees, sports books, the commission, and in-state colleges and universities and their governing bodies. 

The letter also proposes:

  • The commission define “sporting event” and expand the list of events that are excluded from betting.
  • Requiring the commission and casino operator to cooperate in any investigations by the colleges and universities concerning suspected illegal betting.
  • Requiring licensees to maintain records for three years of all bets and wagers placed, including identifiable information of the bettor, amount and type of bet, records of abnormal betting activities and video recordings of in-person wagers, the athletic directors suggested. 

"It is our sincere hope that the regulatory structure adopted will reflect and encourage genuine partnership among all parties involved, and that its implementation will strengthen the relationship between the Commission and this state's colleges and universities," the letter said.

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.