NCAA Managing Director to Address Prop Betting Talks on Safe Bet Show at SBC Summit North America


Mark Hicks, Managing Director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is scheduled to appear on Martin Lycka’s ‘Safe Bet Show’, during the upcoming SBC Summit North America. His appearance comes amid heightened discussions regarding the prohibition of individual prop bets on colleague athletes in the United States.

The live edition of the ‘Safe Bet Show,’ a responsible gambling-focused podcast, will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 7th, as part of the‘Player Protection Symposium’ at the Tribeca 360. The symposium is a pre-day conference dedicated to building a robust 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 features Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President of American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, assuming the role of moderator. In the series, Lycka, alongside his esteemed guests, illuminates the latest responsible gambling and player protection strategies, technologies and industry issues. 

The distinguished guest for the upcoming show, Mark Hicks, boasts an illustrious 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 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that governs student sports across more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Founded in 1906, the organisation oversees over 19,000 teams competing in 90 championships across 24 sports spanning three divisions. In addition to its oversight of numerous collegiate championships, the NCAA plays an instrumental role in the development of young athletes, awarding nearly $3.5 billion in athletics scholarships annually and offering extensive support to student-athletes in achieving above-average graduate rates. 

Recent weeks have seen the NCAA leading the charge for all states to ban individual prop bets on college athletes, exemplifying their commitment to athlete welfare. As reported by SBC Americas, NCAA President Charlie Baker had issued a statement highlighting that “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 that have prohibited individual college player props, while Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board (LGCB) has moved to ban proposition bets on college athletes, effective August 1, one week after Baker raised his concerns on the matter.

Commenting on his upcoming appearance, Hicks said: “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. 

“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.” 

Lycka added: “I am beyond excited to return to SBC Summit North America to host the Safe Bet Show alongside such a notable guest. 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 US.

“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. 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.” 

Attendees of the Player Protection Symposium will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of responsible gambling initiatives and player protection through dedicated conference sessions. Discussions will cover regulating innovative technologies, proactive solutions to combat underage gambling, and the prominent role of technology in responsible gambling. 


SBC Summit North America will take place between May 7 – 9, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey. To attend the Player Protection Symposium, you must acquire the limited 3-day pass priced at $895 (for groups of 3 or more). 

Additionallyoperators and affiliates can apply for a free pass to the event. 

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news, speakers & exhibitor additions, and conference content by subscribing to the bi-weekly SBC Summit North America LinkedIn newsletter. 

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