WCIA — Since being legalized in Illinois, gambling on sports has become a common part of the viewing experience in sports. Yet, Illinoisans were not able to bet on any of the in-state universities.
Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman has been a big proponent of keeping Illinois universities off gambling apps within state lines, but as of the beginning of the year wagers can be placed on in-state schools in-person at sportsbooks only. Whitman says he has no problem with gambling on sports, but the impact that could have on college athletes is what concerns him.
“Because of the passion that our fans have a lot of times some of that can bubble and tend towards the negative,” Whitman told WCIA. “If all of a sudden they’re frustrated, not only because they’re passionate that we got beat or there was a poor performance, but now they lost $500 or $1000. I think that negative rhetoric escalates to a new level and I worry about what that means for the well being of our students.”