LSU Emails Students About Sports Betting, But Message Not What Parents Expected

Posted on: January 31, 2022, 08:04h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2022, 09:43h.

The athletics department at Louisiana State University (LSU) recently sent out an email blast to students and fans regarding the debut of legal sports betting in the state. The message garnered much negative feedback.

LSU Caesars Sportsbook Louisiana sports betting
LSU fans pack Tiger Stadium during a home football game in 2020. Caesars Sportsbook and the university have partnered for the state’s expansion of legal sports betting. (Image: Casino.org)

Many colleges that are located in states with legal sports betting have warned their upperclassmen regarding the dangers of such gambling. But LSU took a vastly different approach that seemingly encourages participation. In an email sent from GEAUX-MAIL, the “official insider email of LSU Athletics,” the school promoted its partnership with the Caesars Sportsbook app in the state.

“Your App is Ready, Louisiana,” the LSU email marketed. The message included a promotional signup code that rewards new accounts with $300 following an initial first-time bet of $20.

Tiger fans, rejoice!” the email greeted recipients. “The time to place your first bet (and earn your first bonus) with Caesars Sportsbook — the greatest sports betting app of all time — has finally arrived!”    

Though the GEAUX-MAIL email targets LSU sports fans, the list includes many current undergrads who only recently turned 21, the minimum age to gamble legally in Louisiana. Caesars signed a multiyear “seven-figure” deal last fall with LSU to be its official sportsbook partner.

LSU is riding high after Joe Burrow — who won the Heisman Trophy during the Tigers’ 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship — led the NFL Cincinnati Bengals past the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday. Burrow and the Bengals are now on their way to Super Bowl LVI to play the Los Angeles Rams on February 13.

Cold Reception

LSU’s Caesars Sportsbook email was met with various responses.

Robert Mann, an LSU professor who chairs the university’s Manship School of Mass Communication, said he believes the email is directly soliciting students to engage in gambling. Many others also found the marketing irresponsible.

Local ABC affiliate WBRZ reached out to LSU students for their input. They too expressed concern.

“I thought it was strange that the students got mailed about gambling,” said student Jeramie Britt. “I don’t know if that was the best decision on them to do that.”

“I do think it’s a little strange that LSU is promoting it,” added another student.

Louisiana Sports Betting Debut

Louisiana voters during the November 2020 election decided whether to approve of sports betting in their parishes. Fifty-five of the 64 parishes signed off on legalizing sports betting.

Mobile sportsbooks only went live this week because of the lengthy regulatory process of implementing appropriate geofencing safeguards to make sure online wagers are not processed in one of the nine parishes that do not allow it.

A recent survey on sports betting habits conducted by data intelligence firm Morning Consult concluded that participation rates greatly increased in 2021. The probe found that 12 percent of the US adult population is now betting on sports.

Adults aged 21-34 are a major component of the sports betting demographic. The pollsters said roughly 19 percent of the age group bet on sports weekly, and 28 percent do so monthly.