Ohio Might Ban Prop Bets on College Games

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Ohio State Buckeyes fans react against the Northwestern Wildcats on November 05, 2022. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP.

It looks like college prop bets in Ohio are facing a 4th and long. There is a long list of powerful people in the state who want the practice to end.

Let’s explore the primary issues prompting the possible prohibition and consider how it might impact the online sportsbooks industry.

Risks Unveiled

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the NCAA are trying to prevent people from betting on individual performances of college players during games. They believe that, by stopping these types of bets, they can reduce online threats and harassment.

NCAA President, Charlie Baker, wrote a letter to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. He is urging the state to ban bets on individual college player performances. This request has initiated a period for the public and operators to give their opinions on changing the rules before any actual changes occur.

In the letter, Baker wrote: “The data is clear that student-athletes are getting harassed by bettors. Sports betting without appropriate controls poses real risks to the well-being of student-athletes and to the integrity of collegiate competition – risks heightened by individual prop bets. On behalf of the thousands of student-athletes, administrators, and game officials in Ohio, I thank Gov. DeWine for acting quickly to protect student-athletes and game integrity while responsibly regulating the growing sports betting industry in Ohio.”

The NCAA also mentioned that these types of bets make it more likely for people to try to get insider information to influence betting. They also pointed out that allowing players to bet on their own performances might tempt them to do so.

Ohio State athletic director, Gene Smith, also supports the proposed change.

The Governor’s Stance on College Prop Bets

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released a statement, saying: “One year into sports gambling in Ohio, we have seen a marketplace develop where a number of bad actors have engaged in unacceptable behavior by making threats against student-athletes in Ohio and across the country,” he said. “By amending rules to focus bets on the team and away from individual athletes, I believe we can improve the marketplace in Ohio and better protect student-athletes from unnecessary and potentially harmful threats.”

Why a Potential Ban on College Prop Bets in Ohio?

The NCAA referred to instances of harassment and negative comments online that happened to Dayton men’s basketball players, as reported by their coach Anthony Grant.

“Our men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant and I have long advocated for the elimination of proposition bets on individual college athlete performances,” University of Dayton Vice President and Director of Athletics, Neil Sullivan, told The Black Chronicle. “We support any action that aims to protect students and their families from inexcusable abuse and threats.”

The NCAA is currently handling a situation involving a player who may have bet on himself. Louisiana State Police arrested Kayshon Boutte, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots, for underage betting while he played for LSU. Allegedly, he made bets on himself in a game against Florida State in 2022.

What’s Next for College Props in Ohio?

The gaming commission is expected to send a letter to operators and give them the chance to offer up public comment as to why college prop betting should stand in Ohio.

If the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) agrees to the NCAA’s request, which is set to be discussed at its upcoming meeting on February 21st, OCCC executive director Matthew Schuler explained that the commission would modify the guidelines for the state’s sports betting offerings.

This change would effectively prohibit any proposition or ‘prop’ bets on the performance or statistics of individual athletes participating in NCAA-regulated sporting events.

As the back-and-forth plays out, Bookmakers Review will follow the developments. We’ll bring you updates as we get them.