Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is — after MaximBet shuttered its operation and thus its relationship with Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon — the only current athlete in the big four sports with a sportsbook sponsorship deal.
— Connor McDavid (@cmcdavid97) January 2, 2023
Drew Brees, the retired star quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, used to be a PointsBet brand ambassador, but he stepped down from that role late last year when he became an assistant coach with the Purdue Boilermakers.
All seemed fine and dandy, until New Jersey regulators stepped in and stopped all betting on the Jan. 2 Citrus Bowl between Purdue and Louisiana State due to Brees’ past relationship with the sportsbook.
Which brings the question: Why does the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement look the other way with McDavid and Oilers action, but put the kibosh on Purdue betting?
“The DGE halted betting on Purdue football events due to an issue arising under N.J.S.A. 5:12A-11f,” said Dan Prochilo, the public information officer for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. “In terms of the distinction between the two marketing agreements you inquired about, the DGE cannot discuss or divulge the details and conditions of a private contract between any sports betting operator and an individual, however contracts related to all marketing relationships are reviewed by DGE for compliance with the statute.”
Well, that didn’t exactly settle that, but reading the code mentioned in the response does seem to shed some light on the situation.
It reads, basically, that anyone with an ownership interest in a sportsbook can’t also be a player, coach, or otherwise involved in a team.
And while Brees is no longer a brand ambassador for PointsBet, nowhere has it been written that he’s divested himself completely from the operation. When he signed with them, he obtained equity in the company.
Drew Brees signs on to become a brand ambassador with sportsbook PointsBet, a deal that will give the retired Saints QB an equity stake in the company. pic.twitter.com/MloatnaUBr
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) July 7, 2021
McDavid has no reported ownership interest in BetMGM, and that would appear to be the hair that was split here by regulators.
Photo: Matt Pendleton/USA TODAY