Which State Could Be Next to Ban College Player Prop Betting?

After Maryland, Ohio, and Vermont recently moved to ban college player prop betting, only so many states are left that allow for such wagering.

Apr 1, 2024 • 17:03 ET • 3 min read
Zach Edey Purdue Boilermakers NCAAB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA put the legal sports betting world on notice last week: it wants college player props removed from wagering menus across the entirety of the United States.

However, after Maryland, Ohio, and Vermont recently moved to ban college player prop betting, only so many states are left that allow for such wagering. In fact, fewer than half of all U.S. states permit markets such as whether Zach Edey will go over or under a certain number of rebounds in a game. 

That said, by the NCAA’s count, 21 states allow college player prop betting in some form, even if it doesn’t include players from schools located in those states or if wagers can only be placed in person at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. 

Those states are Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Bettors in those states should take notice, because college player props might disappear there someday. 

The NCAA and its president, former Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, plan to take advantage of the current climate of controversy surrounding sports betting and petition local lawmakers and regulators to remove remaining college player prop markets

"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 and professional athletes getting harassed,” Baker said in a social media statement on March 27. “This week we will be contacting officials across the country in states that still allow these bets and ask them to join Ohio, Vermont, Maryland, and many others and remove college prop bets from all betting markets.” 

It’s not entirely clear yet who the NCAA has contacted thus far and whether they will ban college player prop betting. 

“We do allow them, and we will consider any request to disallow them based on its own merits,” Kansas Lottery spokesperson Cory Thone told Covers in an email on Monday. “At this time, we have not heard from the NCAA.”

Still, it may not even take a written request from the NCAA for a state to take action. While Ohio received a letter from Baker and investigated the matter before banning college player props, Maryland and Vermont simply moved to prohibit them without any formal ask from the governing body

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told Covers in an email that the regulator began a process of addressing the college player prop question "a number of weeks ago," ahead of Baker's public statement. 

"In the next day or two our order will be finalized and will be public record," Johns said. "Our Board was not contacted directly by the NCAA but we observed that they and another state had a public discussion about the issue. We decided on our own initiative to formulate our order."

Some states may opt to keep the markets, for fear of leaking action to offshore and illegal bookmakers.

A report from investment banking firm Citizens JMP Securities to clients last week estimated that almost $200 million in annual gaming revenue could be “at risk” with additional college player prop betting bans. That is because college sports accounted for around $1.6 billion of U.S. sports betting revenue last year, and props would make up only a percentage of that amount. It would also likely be a smaller percentage than pro sports props due to existing restrictions by states.  

“At the end of the day, bettors will find a way to wager on events and players, and we believe the effort to ban individual player betting will likely only push players back offshore, while we estimate over 50% of wagers today are in the United States,” JMP analyst Jordan Bender wrote.

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