7 May, New Jersey

NCAA Managing Director Mark Hicks to address sports betting integrity, prop bets at SBC Summit North America

Reading time 2:08 min

Mark Hicks, the Managing Director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is set to make an appearance on Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show during the upcoming SBC Summit North America. This event comes amid increasing discussions surrounding the prohibition of individual prop bets on college athletes in the United States.

Scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, May 7, the live edition of the Safe Bet Show will be part of the ‘Player Protection Symposium’ at the Tribeca 360. This symposium, a pre-day conference, is dedicated to helping establish a stronger gambling harm prevention ecosystem in the North American sports betting and iGaming industries.

Launched in collaboration with SBC in April 2021, the Safe Bet Show podcast is focused on responsible gambling, with Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President of American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, serving as the moderator. In this series, Lycka, along with his guests, discusses the latest responsible gambling and player protection strategies, technologies, and industry issues.

Mark Hicks, the guest for the upcoming show, has a career in the sports field, commencing 17 years ago as Assistant Director at NCAA Academic and Membership Services in 2006.

In February 2007, Hicks assumed the role of Associate Director at the NCAA Eligibility Center, later transitioning to Director in 2012. Since 2013, Hicks has held the position of Managing Director at NCAA Enforcement Development, a role he has maintained for over a decade.

The NCAA is the nonprofit organization that governs student sports across more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Recently the NCAA has been leading the charge for all states to ban individual prop bets on college athletes.

NCAA President Charlie Baker said: "Prop bets continue to threaten the integrity of competition and lead to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed."

Notably, in the last few months, Ohio and Maryland have joined the list of states prohibiting individual college player props, with Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board (LGCB) also moving to ban proposition bets on college athletes, effective August 1.

"At the NCAA, our mission statement is straightforward, ‘to provide a world-class athletics and academic experience for student-athletes that fosters lifelong well-being’. In my opinion, this can only be achieved with multistate collaboration and a widespread commitment to valuing both athletes and sports bettors equally," said Hicks.

“The upcoming ‘Safe Bet Show’ offers an ideal platform for the industry to address these issues, share opinions, and ultimately collaborate to uphold the integrity of US sports, while also delivering an enjoyable and engaging experience for both bettors and athletes,” he added.

Martin Lycka expressed his excitement to host Mark Hicks on the Safe Bet Show, praising Hicks for his dedication to athlete protection. "Mark Hicks has a wealth of experience in the sports arena and has been at the forefront of athlete protection, driving forward the development of safer sports betting practices in the U.S.,” said Lycka.

“As the US market grows, it is important to seek the perspectives from beyond the industry to innovate strategies for upholding player protection and safe gambling practices," Lycka added. "The NCAA’s recent advocacy for banning all prop bets in the US serves as a prime illustration of the ethos pushing towards industry growth and longevity.”

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