NCAA President’s Plea For College Prop Bet Ban Would Affect Michigan

Written By Corey Sharp on March 27, 2024
Close-up of a Wilson official NCAA basketball. NCAA President Charlie Baker is calling on lawmakers in states like Michigan to ban prop bets on college sports.

NCAA President Charlie Baker has spoken up about sports betting in college basketball. Baker issued a statement pleading that lawmakers ban college prop betting in states where it is legal.

Michigan is one state where there are no restrictions on prop betting in college sports. With the Sweet 16 scheduled to tip off this week in Detroit, it’s extremely unlikely Michigan online sportsbooks will ban prop betting before then.

Baker says college prop betting is a threat to players

On the heels of the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 of the college basketball season, Baker made a strong statement about the state of sports betting in the US. In a release on social media, Baker said:

“Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity of competitions and leading to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed. The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets.

“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. The NCAA is drawing the line on sports betting to protect student-athletes and to protect the integrity of the game — issues across the country these last several days show there is more work to be done.”

Michigan joins markets such as Kansas, Louisiana, Washington D.C. and Wyoming as states that do not have restrictions in college prop betting. There are several other states that also allow prop betting, but with restrictions.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) banned prop betting on college athletes last month, the latest market to do so. Baker said last month after the news:

“I thank The Commission for recognizing the serious threats posed by prop bets and implementing controls to help safeguard student-athlete mental-health from the risks of sports betting harassment and abuse.”

Questions to be addressed amidst possible prop ban in Michigan

There are several questions that need to be answered with the state of betting in college sports. However, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) did not immediately respond to PlayMichigan’s requests.

PlayMichigan is not aware of the MGCB’s stance on college prop betting or whether or not Baker reached out in any fashion. It’s extremely unlikely that props are removed before the end of March Madness betting in Michigan.

Banning such props has become a double-edged sword. Industry expert, Dustin Gouker, brought up a good point in a tweet earlier today on X:

“Banning college prop bets may help to a degree with harassment, but everyone can still easily bet on college player props at fantasy sites, sweepstakes sportsbooks and offshore. You’re not eliminating anything. You’re sending that action to unregulated options.”

While the safety and well-being of players is most important, harassment might not be all that limited with other numerous ways to prop bet.

As of now, college prop betting is still legal in the Great Lakes State. Several cities in Ohio can cross the state border ahead of during Sweet 16 and Elite 8 action this weekend.

Keep following along as updates to this story will be made.

Photo by Keith Srakocic / AP Photo
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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