Florida Lottery Blurs NCAA Gambling Lines by Using College Football Teams in Promotion

Casino Watch Focus has long reported that the NCAA has a strong anti-gambling stance.  They have a strict policy preventing players and staff from gambling on games, and they almost always legally oppose expanded gambling efforts that put college games at risk.  Various state are allowed to allow sports gambling, the most notable being Nevada, and they allow gambling on NCAA sporting events.  Florida allows various forms of gambling, including a lottery, track racing and tribal casinos.  Recently, the Florida Lottery introduced a way to use the NCAA name to promote gambling, while not technically engaging in sports betting.  The USA Today explains:

Two of Florida’s long-time college football rivals are coming together in a new contest: To sell lottery tickets.

The Florida Lottery is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars so it can use the logos of the University of Florida and Florida State University on a new $2 scratch-off lottery game aimed squarely at football fans.

The “$50,000 Gridiron Cash” tickets went on sale recently. The game not only features cash prizes, but it will give ticket buyers between now and November a chance to win other prizes, including season tickets and even bowl tickets to games featuring the Gators or Seminoles.

While it has been routine for the Lottery to advertise at football games or promotional events, the USA Today explains that using team logos in this manner is a significant shift in policy and very few have been willing to comment:

It’s been routine for years to have the Florida Lottery advertise at football games and do promotional events with state colleges. But paying to use the team logos on scratch-off tickets marks a major step up.

The NCAA has maintained a strong stance against gambling, but it referred questions to the two schools.

Florida State President Eric Barron said Friday that he was unaware of the ticket promotion until asked about it by a reporter.

University of Florida President Bernie Machen did not respond to a question emailed to him by the Associated Press, but a spokesman for the athletics department defended the arrangement by noting that it has had a lengthy relationship with the lottery.

 For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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