Ohio Governor Supports NCAA in Banning College Player Props at Sportsbooks
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has voiced his support for the NCAA’s request to prohibit player prop bets for college athletes at regulated sportsbooks. This comes after the NCAA submitted a formal request to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) asking for an amendment to the state’s sports betting rules.
The NCAA, which oversees athletics at over 1,000 colleges and universities, believes that allowing player prop bets for college sports poses a threat to the safety of student-athletes. Governor DeWine echoed these concerns, stating that the current marketplace for sports gambling has seen “a number of bad actors” engaging in unacceptable behavior, including making threats against student-athletes.
DeWine believes that by amending the rules to focus bets on the team and away from individual athletes, the marketplace in Ohio can be improved, and student-athletes can be better protected from unnecessary and potentially harmful threats.
NCAA President Charlie Baker also emphasized the risks posed by individual player prop bets, stating that sports betting without appropriate controls poses real risks to the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of collegiate competition.
The OCCC has acknowledged the letters from both DeWine and Baker in support of amending the state’s sports betting rules and has announced that it will be accepting comments from its licensed sportsbooks on the subject until February 12.
Legal sports betting in Ohio began on January 1, 2023, and the state saw over $7.65 billion in bets during the year. However, it is unclear how much of the handle and gross income retained by the books was generated by college player props. Both DeWine and Baker’s support is specifically directed at college sports, not professional sports.
The NCAA’s stance on legal sports gambling is conditional on the requirement that such wagering does not jeopardize the integrity of the sports it sanctions. Despite the NCAA’s opposition, nearly 40 states have legalized sports betting, with many allowing bets on college sports, including player props.
States such as Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Wyoming, along with Washington, DC, allow college player props, while others like Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island permit player props as long as the players involved in the prop do not play for colleges located within those states.