Ohio Officially Bans College Player Prop Bets

The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Friday banned sportsbooks from offer player-specific prop bets on intercollegiate athletics.

In a six-page release, OCCC executive director Matthew Schuler said “I have carefully considered information submitted by the NCAA and Ohio’s licensed sports gaming operators to conclude that good cause supports granting the NCAA’s request.”

Numerous sportsbooks currently operating in Ohio attempted to dissuade the OCCC from the ban.

Schuler noted that these types of bets accounted for roughly 1.35% of the total amount of sports wagers in Ohio in 2023.

Read the entire OCCC report here:

Ohio bans NCAA player proposition bets

Why Did Ohio Ban NCAA Player Prop Bets?

Schuler outlined six reasons presented by the NCAA that formed the basis of his decision:

  • Both the NCAA and the University of Dayton and Ohio State have reported incidents of student-athletes being harassed by bettors.
  • The NCAA “referenced the general well-being and mental health of student-athletes.”
  • The NCAA convinced Schuler that player-specific props “increase the risk of insider information being solicited and/or leveraged to manipulate betting markets, because student-athletes, compared to professional athletes, are more accessible to other students and members of the public at large.”
  • The NCAA contended these types of bets could “entice” student-athletes to wager on their own performance, which is not allowed by the NCAA.
  • Player props could increase the likelihood of matching-fixing attempts.
  • The NCAA successfully asserted that “player-specific prop bets offer college students, who it maintains are more prone to be addicted to sports betting, a mechanism for engaging in “micro-betting,” a more repetitive form of sports betting on a myriad of player’s statistics.

How Ohio Gambling Law Will Be Amended

Schuler proposed the following changes to Ohio sports betting regulations:

Any wager based on the following is NOT approved and is NOT permitted:
• Any proposition or “prop” bet on an individual athlete’s performance or statistics participating in a sporting event governed by the NCAA. Only proposition bets based on full team statistical results are permitted.
• Any full team proposition bet on a sporting event governed by the NCAA that, while not based solely on an individual, would on average depend 50% or more on the statistical performance of one or two athletes on the team to determine the outcome. For example, whether Team A will gain over 200 passing yards in a football game would predominantly rely on the quarterback’s yardage, likely over 50% dependence.

Sportsbooks Argued to Keep NCAA Player Props in Ohio

According to Schuler, the OCCC polled eight sportsbooks offering player props in Ohio, with varying degrees of pushback. “Several,” the OCCC statement claimed, asserted they could investigate harassment claims on their own. “Many operators also argued” that a ban would drive patrons of NCAA player props to the black market.

Added Schuler: One company supported the first restriction in the Draft Criteria, but expressed concern that the second restriction was subjective and asked the Commission to provide formal guidance to operators on how to interpret this restriction.

Martin Lycka, the Senior Vice President of American Regulatory Affairs, deemed the new approach “slightly convoluted” but agreed with the justification.

“I totally understand where the NCAA and Gov. [Mike] DeWine are coming from as student-athletes’ well-being needs to be protected, particularly in the run-up to and during March Madness,” he said.

banned college props

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Lead Writer
Brant James is a lead writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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