Wyoming Regulators Making Moves to Ban Prop Betting on College Sports

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Evan Svoboda #17 of the Wyoming Cowboys warms up before a game against the Texas Longhorns. Tim Warner/Getty Images/AFP

Another state is moving closer to banning college player prop bets. 

Wyoming regulators used a recent meeting to discuss removing college prop bets from the sports catalog and creating harsher penalties for bettors who are found to have harassed athletes. This is the Wyoming Gaming Commission’s response to an official request by the NCAA to prohibit the wagering of individual stats like rebounds or rushing yards.

“By prohibiting any of the prop bets, I think that’s a step in the direction that we do want to go,” Commissioner Jenni Wildcat said. “We want to protect the integrity of the sports wagering, our patrons, our athletes, and us as a state.”

NCAA Had Representative at Meeting

In the meeting, Austin Meo, who works for the NCAA in government relations, stressed that they’re really focused on stopping student-athletes from being harassed. He also talked about how they want to make sure sports stay fair and prevent people from cheating by using secret info or messing with game outcomes. These are all big parts of what they’re trying to achieve.

Harassment of Athletes is Major Focus

Michael Steinberg, the Wyoming Gaming Commission’s operations manager is responsible for overseeing sports betting. He advocates for the Equity State to address harassment of all athletes, not just college athletes. 

In discussions with the NCAA and the University of Wyoming, Steinberg highlights the need to take a strong stance against harassment. He proposes implementing stringent penalties for bettors who target athletes. 

Steinberg even suggests that violating harassment policies could result in a ban from all sports betting platforms. This approach aligns with West Virginia’s recent anti-harassment legislation, and the commission is actively considering this issue.

Trying to Slow a Growing Problem

Harassment and abuse in sports are critical issues that can significantly impact athletes’ well-being and performance. That’s why prioritizing safeguarding measures to create a safe and supportive environment for all athletes is important. 

Research shows that athletes experience various forms of abuse, including psychological and physical abuse, with rates varying across different contexts. Supporters say that addressing these issues head-on will promote a healthier and more respectful sporting environment for everyone involved. 

Wyoming appears to be on its way to adding its name to the list of states that have already taken action.  Vermont, Ohio, and Maryland recently banned college prop bets. Colorado, Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Oregon already prohibit college prop bets. Illinois, Connecticut, and Iowa do not allow such bets for in-state teams. 

What Will It Take to Remove College Prop Bets?

Regulators affirmed that they could amend the state’s betting rules without needing a legislative amendment. While many commissioners supported the removal of college player props, the group couldn’t proceed with a vote without clear details.

As a result, the commission directed the staff to draft “suggestive” rule changes aimed at prohibiting college player props. These draft changes will be presented for the group’s review, discussion, and potential vote at their next meeting scheduled for later this summer.

We’ll keep you posted.