Investment Firm Estimates $200M Loss if College Player Props Banned

College sports accounted for nearly 15%, or $1.6 billion, of the total $121 billion wagered in 2023, according to JMP.

Mar 28, 2024 • 16:06 ET • 4 min read
Jack Gohlke Oakland NCAAB
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Banning college player props in U.S. legal sports betting markets would cost the industry $200 million, according to a recent report from an investment banking and asset management firm. 

Citizens JMP Securities provided the estimate in response to NCAA President Charlie Barker’s public call on Wednesday for all U.S. states to prohibit prop bets on student-athletes due to harmful harassment. 

“Prop betting has served as a diversification away from traditional game results in recent years to protect against negative sporting outcomes, accounting for nearly half of bets across all sports in recent quarters,” the report stated. 

JMP used that percentage to asses the massive loss to sportsbooks. The firm estimates the “long-term, worst-case scenario” if all states ban college props would cost FanDuel $55 million in EBITDA revenue while DraftKings could lose up to $45 million. 

Pushing toward offshore

College sports accounted for nearly 15%, or $1.6 billion, of the total $121 billion wagered in 2023, according to JMP.

The report suggests that if bettors can’t access college player props on regulated sportsbooks, they will find other ways to place those wagers. 

“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,” the report said. 

NCAA fighting back

Ohio and Maryland recently stopped sportsbooks in those regulated states from offering college player props. West Virginia and New Mexico are passing legislation aimed at protecting student-athletes from harassment. 

“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,” Baker said in a social media statement on Wednesday. “The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets.” 

North Carolina Tar Heels star Armando Bacot said he’s received social media and in-person responses from losing bettors

The U.S. states that currently offer wagers on individual college players include 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.

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