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NCAA Supports Ohio Ban on Individual Player Props

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and NCAA President Charlie Baker are calling on Ohio sportsbooks to self-regulate on one of the thorniest issues facing the US sports betting industry – individual player props. The pair is hoping that an operator ban on wagers based on the performance of a single 18-year-old will help the very ugly practice of harassment of student-athletes by frustrated gamblers.

Earlier this week the NCAA began putting pressure on sportsbook operators by sending a friendly letter urging them to drop individual player props for college athletes entirely. They emphasized that team props and team wins are still in play, but wagers on individual performances are simply causing too many problems. Though Ohio already has a law on the books that places anyone convicted of harassing an individual player on the self-exclusion list, Baker and DeWine want more.

In a statement reported on by the Columbus Dispatch, Baker made his case saying, “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.”

Governor DeWine chimed in his support adding, “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. 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.”

The Ohio case is clearly a test-run for what is likely going to be a national push to eliminate individual player props at the college level entirely.