February 26, 2024 2 min read

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Ohio Implements Ban on Player-Specific Prop Bets in Collegiate Sports

As the executive director of the OCCC, Matthew Schuler referenced increasing evidence of harassment and the potential for cheating linked to these bets as key factors driving the decision to implement the ban

In response to a joint plea from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio has taken a definitive stance against player-specific prop bets in collegiate sports, marking a significant shift in the state’s gambling landscape. The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announced its decision to prohibit such wagers, effective March 1, 2024.

OCCC Director Schuler Leads Charge Against Athlete Prop Bets in Ohio

Player-specific prop bets allow gamblers to stake money on individual athletes’ performances within college sporting events. Examples include predicting the number of three-pointers a basketball player might make or the passing yards of a quarterback. However, concerns over the potential harm caused by these bets have prompted regulators to intervene.

Matthew Schuler, the executive director of the OCCC, cited mounting evidence of harassment and the risk of cheating associated with these wagers as primary reasons for the ban, reported Cleavland.com. Schuler stated in a written opinion that the occurrences of an increase in the harassment of student-athletes based on their performance presented a clear danger to the best interests of Ohio.

The NCAA, in support of the ban, emphasized the growing instances of student-athletes facing harassment from disgruntled bettors, both online and offline. 

Ohio’s move aligns with similar restrictions enforced in over 20 other states with legalized sports betting.

Gov. DeWine Endorses Ohio’s Move to Safeguard Student-Athletes

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised the decision, emphasizing its role in protecting student-athletes from undue threats. Gov. DeWine stated that amending rules to focus bets on the team and away from individual athletes would improve the marketplace in Ohio.

While the ban has garnered support from state officials and regulatory bodies, it faced opposition from sports betting operators. Critics argue that such restrictions could drive bettors toward unregulated markets, potentially exacerbating the issues the ban aims to address.

The ban will have financial implications, with player-specific prop bets accounting for approximately $105 million in wagers and $2.5 million in tax revenue in Ohio last year alone. However, Schuler emphasized that these bets represent only a fraction of the total betting volume in the state.

Ohio’s decision reflects a broader trend toward safeguarding the integrity of collegiate sports and protecting the well-being of student-athletes amidst the growing prevalence of sports betting across the nation.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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