Aidan’s Angle: Is introducing gambling at the U SPORTS level a good idea?

Weighing the pros and cons of sports gambling
U SPORTS has yet to introduce sports betting.

Since the Ontario government placed regulations on online sports betting in August 2021, a gambling pandemic has swept the province. It’s hard to watch anything without being bombarded with betting ads, pleading with audiences to use their books—otherwise code for: give them your money.

Compared to the United States, sports gambling in Canada exists on a smaller scale. This is partially due to the attraction of collegiate sports betting, which is exclusive to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It should be noted collegiate sports exist on a smaller scale in Canada, in general.

While the addition of sports betting is a massive attraction towards sporting events and provides fans with an extra mode of entertainment, it’s important to highlight the ways sports betting impacts the landscape of competitive sports. This is especially important if we want to explore the possibility of sports gambling coming to collegiate sports in Canada.

One major concern surrounding sports betting is addiction, which is a deterrent for many. If gambling were to appear on the post-secondary sports scene, lots of time and work would have to be invested in educating students about the dangers of gambling and how quickly things can go south.

The Director of High-Performance Sport at Queen’s University, Dalton Myers, discussed implications that sports betting might have at the collegiate level.

“It does have its positive and negative influences,” he said. “[Companies] generate income and revenue, but the negative aspect of it is that it creates a negative slew of issues, ranging from addiction, to cheating, to underground markets, creating issues for the informal economy.”

Sports gambling can jeopardize the legitimacy of competitive sports—something mentioned on the NCAA’s website.

“Sports wagering has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the well-being of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community,” Myers said. “It demeans the competition and competitors alike by spreading a message that’s contrary to the purpose and meaning of sport.”

However, Myers believes the legitimacy of sports is always endangered by the nature of sport itself. Myers supported his opinion by reminding students that gambling and its negative associations are just some of the possible matters impacting sport.

“I think it’s just one of those negative aspects of sport,” he said. “Many other things happen in sports, whether its facilities, or disadvantage, or challenges on the field of play. I wouldn’t say it jeopardizes it. What I would say though, is that it can have an impact on the results [of a game], and it has.”

Just this year, 25 student-athletes from the University of Iowa were accused of violating NCAA gambling regulations after placing bets on games they had a direct impact on.

Although they were just students—who perhaps were only riding parlays sent to them by their friends or peers—this doesn’t exonerate sports gambling from the dangers it poses against the integrity of collegiate athletics.

Brad Bohannon, head coach of the University of Alabama’s baseball team, was fired in late April 2023 after it was revealed that he placed an array of suspicious bets surrounding his own team.

Taking all of this into account, it becomes increasingly apparent that sports betting really has no place in Canadian university athletics, which should be appreciated for its ability to entertain fans with high-level competition between student-athletes from institutions across the nation.

As it stands, there are no steps being made toward bringing sports betting to the U SPORTS landscape here in Canada, and rightfully so—even though sports gambling raked in roughly $1.45 billion for the Canadian government in just its first year.

If the OUA, U SPORTS, and the Canadian government explore the possibility of opening up gambling to Canadian collegiate sports, substantial investments should be made in educating and protecting student-athletes against the dangers and problems associated with sports gambling.


Aidan’s Angle, Dalton Myers, NCAA, Sports Gambling, U Sports

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to


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