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Ohio Governor, NCAA President Urging Ban of College Player Prop Bets

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Feb 2, 2024 · 2:53 PM PST

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr celebrates with quarterback Kyle McCord
Sep 16, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) celebrates his touchdown catch with Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord (6) against Western Kentucky Hilltoppers during the second quarter of their game at Ohio Stadium.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and NCAA President Charlie Baker are requesting Ohio prohibit bets on college player props. 
  • The NCAA has officially submitted a request with the Ohio Casino Control Commission to prohibit the props
  • The Ohio Casino Control Commission will go through the necessary process to make a determination on the request

Citing a rise of social media harassment and threats to college student athletes, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and NCAA President Charlie Baker have officially requested the Ohio Casino Control Commission prohibit bets on college player props in the state.

The NCAA sent a letter to the commission on Jan. 31 with the request. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has started the official process to review the request.

Following the NCAA’s request to modify Ohio’s event and wager catalogue, the commission has notified sports betting operators in the state to give them an opportunity to submit comments on the potential change until Feb. 12.

Unacceptable Behavior from Bad Actors

Gov. DeWine said the official request was made after months of discussion and numerous reports of social media threats made to collegiate athletes.

“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,” Gov. DeWine said in a release. “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.”

Ohio is one of just a handful of states that have rules in place where those found harassing student-athletes on social media over outcomes can be officially banned from sports betting in the Buckeye State.

Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matt Schuler called for the provision in January2023 after he became aware of several incidents of state bettors threatening members of the University of Dayton’s men’s basketball team. The official provision went into effect in July after it was included in finalized Ohio 2024-2025 fiscal year budget.

The incident Schuler addressed came from a January basketball game involving the Dayton Flyers. As reported by Cincinnati.com, Head Coach Anthony Grant called out individuals who threatened members of his roster after the team lost 63-62 to Virginia Commonwealth after leading by 14 at halftime.

The data on this issue is clear, Baker said in a release, as more sports bettors are engaging in social media harassment of student athletes following event outcomes.

“Sports betting without appropriate controls poses real risks to the well-being of student-athletes and to the integrity of collegiate competition – risks which are heightened by individual prop bets,” Baker said in a release. “On behalf of the thousands of student-athletes, administrators and game officials in Ohio, I thank Governor DeWine for acting quickly to protect student-athletes and game integrity while responsibly regulating the growing sports betting industry in Ohio.”

Ohio Casino Control Commission Listening to Request

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) released a statement this afternoon confirming the NCAA’s request. The request will now be evaluated by Schuler, who will determine whether the NCAA has shown good cause to grant the prohibition.

According to OCCC statute, “good cause will be measured by whether the request, if adopted, will ensure the integrity of sports gaming or will be in the best interests of the public.”

If good cause is determined, the following would be prohibited in Ohio:

  • 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.

If Schuler denies the request, the NCAA will have a chance to appeal the decision.

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