ATHENS, Ga. -- In a one-on-one chat with 11Alive Sports on Monday, UGA athletics director Greg McGarity expressed concern over the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling with sports betting.
The decision subsequently gives each state the power and capacity to determine its own fate in the highly lucrative realm of legalized sports betting.
McGarity, who just wrapped his seventh school year of leading the Dawgs' athletic department, fears that college students—and those working for athletic programs—could be compromised in this new world of omnipresent gambling opportunities.
"I think [college kids] are vulnerable in so many areas, especially with [administrative] staffs that have access to practice information," McGarity said. "How do you disseminate information about injuries? ... It opens up so many (potential problems), and we're all concerned about it. There's always been a gambling element there, but now, it's just so much more public."
Before the Supreme Court's decision, only Nevada had legal permission to solicit open bets with pro and college sports. But now, with Delaware and New Jersey already finalizing plans for legal gambling, it could be a matter of time before southern states adopt similar measures.
According to the Legal Sports Report, which perpetually tracks the legalized-gambling industry, the state of Nevada posted record revenues of $248.8 million with sports wagering in 2017—a significant bump from the 2016 revenues ($219.2 million).
Also in 2017, the total amount of money wagered reached record highs—at $4.87 billion. It remains to be seen how other states will utilize this opportunity for robust gambling revenues.
Either way, McGarity hopes the NCAA will ramp up its gambling education initiatives with students and student-athletes, given how the other 47 contiguous states—outside of Nevada—are essentially entering uncharted territory with sports betting.