A man looks at his ticket after placing a bet at the Caesars Sportsbook betting window at Chase Field in Phoenix on the first day of sports betting on September 9, 2021. Chase Field is the first major league stadium to have sports betting.At Chase Field in Phoenix on September 9, 2021. Credit: Arizona Republic

While sports betting has been legal in Ohio since the start of 2023, the Buckeye State continues to make tweaks to its laws.

On Friday, the Ohio Casino Control Commission announced that it will comply with the NCAA’s request and eliminate the ability for residents to wager on player props in college athletics. According to Sports Betting Dime’s Ryan Linnehan, the change will go into effect immediately.

Per the commission’s decision, bets on college player props accounted for just 1.35 percent of sports bets that were placed in Ohio in 2023. In issuing its request, the NCAA cited six specific concerns regarding player props being made available to bettors, according to Linnehan, including:

  • Harassment of student-athletes by bettors
  • The mental health and general well-being of student-athletes
  • Player-specific prop bets increase the risk of insider information being solicited to manipulate betting markets
  • Player-specific prop bets may entice student-athletes into engaging in sports betting on themselves
  • Player-specific prop bets will increase the risk of “spot fixing” or match fixers targeting student-athletes
  • Player-specific prop bets offer college students, who are more prone to problem gambling, a mechanism for engaging in micro-betting

“While some may revert to illegal operations, the vast majority of Ohioans engage only in legal gambling activity. Given the relative small percentage of wagers placed on player specific prop bets, I perceive the risk of a black market boom to be low,” Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matthew Schuler wrote in his decision.

Schuler’s decision also noted that of the 38 states in which sports betting is legal, Ohio is now the 25th to either limit or fully prohibit betting on player props in college sports. A full list of which states allow what can be found here.

While sports betting is regulated on a state by state basis, it’s obviously notable that the NCAA is taking it upon itself to lobby for specific changes. It’s hardly surprising that the organization would be in favor of prohibiting player props, which, in theory, would be easier for a player to manipulate than the outcome of an individual game.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if the NCAA attempts to enact similar changes in states where betting on college player props is still permitted. It will also be interesting to see what happens with such legislation if/when the Power 5 conferences inevitably split from the NCAA.

[Sports Betting Dime]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.