Colorado athletics, PointsBet end partnership The Denver Post

The University of Colorado athletic department and PointsBet had three years to go on their sponsorship deal, but have elected to end their partnership early.

“PointsBet and the University of Colorado have decided it is mutually beneficial to end their partnership at this time. Both parties are thankful for the joint efforts throughout the relationship and wish the best for each organization going forward,” the two parties said in a joint statement provided to BuffZone on Wednesday.

In September of 2020, CU and PointsBet, an online sports book headquartered in Denver, announced a five-year agreement that began with the 2021-22 academic year. PointsBet was in line to pay CU at least $1.625 million over the course of the deal, which was to run through the 2025-26 school year.

The deal also included CU receiving a $30 referral fee for each PointsBet customer who was a “qualifying player” and signed up with a CU-specific promotional code. That part of the agreement was discontinued in January, however.

CU’s deal was controversial from the start, but now both parties will move on.

On Tuesday, the American Gaming Association introduced new guidelines that prohibit partnerships between colleges and sportsbooks in the future. According to a BuffZone source, CU’s decision to end the agreement with PointsBet was not related to the AGA’s announcement.

The AGA’s updated “responsible marketing code for sports wagering” now bans “college partnerships that promote, market or advertise sports wagering activity” and prohibits name, image and likeness deals between sportsbooks and college athletes.

In 2020, CU became the first Power 5 conference school to announce a partnership with a sports betting operator. PointsBet also has a deal with the University of Maryland.

According to an ESPN article this week, there were only five deals between colleges and the gambling industry that included the promotion of sports betting. In addition to CU and Maryland, Michigan State, LSU and the University of Denver also have such partnerships, according to ESPN.

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