Vermont Joins Maryland, Ohio in Banning College Player Prop Betting

Vermont has become the latest state to ban prop betting on individual players in events sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Vermont’s Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) updated its catalog, titled Catalog of Approved Events for Sports Wagering, last week to ban such props.

The catalog states, “Individual player proposition (prop) bets will not be allowed on any NCAA allowed game offered in Vermont. Proposition bets that cover the entire team will be allowed” under DLL NCAA restrictions.

Betting On Vermont’s Collegiate Teams

Vermont sports betting does not allow wagering on state collegiate teams unless the team participates in a tournament format event. The catalog also states that wagering on Vermont’s high school teams is prohibited. Additionally, Vermont does not allow wagering on specific individual college awards.

There have been several concerns around the health and safety of student-athletes, including the harassment of players by sports bettors. Banning betting on player props will help the NCAA ecosystem protect players at risk of harassment, including student-athletes from low-income households.

What Have Other States Done?

Maryland and Ohio sports betting also doesn’t allow prop betting on college events. Maryland recently banned college player prop betting before a request from the NCAA.

“Maryland’s sportsbook operators were directed to stop taking college player prop bets as of March 1, 2024. The decision aligns Maryland with other states that have disallowed these wagers to protect college athletes against potential harassment. The intent is to focus college sports wagers on the teams rather than the individual athletes,” an MLGCA spokesperson said.

That was not quite the case in Ohio, where the NCAA requested the state to reconsider college player prop betting. In February of this year, Ohio also decided to ban player-specific prop bets for college sports events. At the time, Ohio Casino Control Commission executive director Matthew Schuler said there was good cause to ban prop betting on collegiate events.

“First and foremost, the occurrences of and increase in the harassment of student-athletes based upon their performance or statistics in an intercollegiate athletics competition presents a clear and present danger to the best interests of Ohio,” Schuler wrote in his statement.

“Based upon the information the NCAA provided, it is apparent to me that player-specific prop bets may be directly related to player-specific harassment, including threats — meaning a decrease in the availability of these types of wagers could lead to a decrease in harassment.”

The NCAA’s Point Of View

The NCAA has several reasons to examine the concerns around player prop betting for college sports. Player harassment is a primary concern for the NCAA. West Virginia has recently passed legislation banning abusive gamblers; other states are expected to follow suit soon.

The NCAA has categorically contacted some of the bigger iGaming states, requesting they consider banning prop betting on college events. In others, like Maryland, a proactive approach from the state does not need their interference.

Vermont is unlikely to feel the heat of this ban regarding state betting revenue, considering only around $20 million was bet in January this year, which is a fraction of the handle of some of the bigger states.

In a letter to Baker, Schuler stated that protecting players far outweighs the potential loss of tax revenue to the state. “The NCAA has shown good cause to support its request to prohibit player-specific prop bets on NCAA collegiate events in Ohio. While I recognize that there may be a small negative impact to operator and tax revenue, the protection of student-athletes and the integrity of collegiate competitions far outweigh these impacts.”


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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