Six states allow prop bets fully

NYSGC chair Brian O'Dwyer backs NCAA President's call for nationwide ban on college player prop bets

The chair of the New York State Gaming Commission, Brian O'Dwyer
Reading time 1:41 min

The chair of the New York State Gaming Commission, Brian O'Dwyer, has voiced his support for a nationwide ban on college player proposition bets, aligning with the stance of NCAA President Charlie Baker.

In a letter dated April 15 addressed to Baker, O'Dwyer endorsed his call for such a ban in all states where sports betting is legal. This move would impact sports betting in New York, which already prohibits college player proposition betting.

“As regulators of the largest sports betting market in the United States, we continue to believe the prohibition of college proposition betting on student-athletes is appropriate,” O’Dwyer wrote in the letter sent under the letterhead of the NYSGC, which includes the name of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

New York took preemptive action before the launch of its sports betting industry in 2022 by prohibiting player proposition bets on collegiate athletes, citing protection for NCAA student-athletes.

Player proposition bets are wagers tied to the performance of specific athletes, such as the number of passing yards for a college quarterback or the points scored by a college basketball player.

Of the 38 states that have legalized some form of sports betting, only six allow college player prop bets without restrictions, including Indiana, Michigan, and North Carolina.

Baker, in a statement in March, said: “Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity of competition and leading to student-athletes getting harassed.” 

However, opponents of a widespread bad argue there is currently no data showing an increase in harassment of college athletes or elevated cases of gambling addiction. Some argue that further research is needed on the subject.

O'Dwyer highlighted New York's leadership role in sports betting regulation, emphasizing the state's policy determination to prohibit individual athletic-based proposition betting within any collegiate event.

"We are pleased that many states have followed our lead and have since adopted such a similar restriction," O'Dwyer added.

While Baker's advocacy has spurred action in some states like Maryland and Ohio, where bans on college player props were implemented after the launch of sports betting markets, concerns have been raised about potential repercussions.

Advocates for regulated sports betting markets warn that banning this type of wager may drive bettors to illegal offshore bookmakers, making regulation and monitoring nearly impossible.

Recent high-profile sports betting scandals involving former Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter and MLB player Shohei Ohtani's interpreter have added weight to Baker's arguments.

The NBA permanently banned Porter after an investigation revealed he influenced his own player prop outcomes, while Ohtani's former interpreter allegedly stole millions of dollars to pay gambling debts to illegal bookmakers.

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