Ohio Regulator Considering Banning Sports Bettors for Online Harassment of College Athletes

  • OCCC’s executive director Matt Schuler is considering officially proposing a ban on harassers
  • Schuler was aware of University of Dayton basketball team members receiving violent threats
  • Team members received threatening messages after losing a close game last week
  • Some tweets implied the game was rigged and people complained about lost wagers
Closeup of basketball players going for a rebound
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is considering introducing a ban on sports bettors who are found to have harassed or threatened college athletes. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Considering the idea

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) is considering banning sports bettors in the state who have been found have harassed college athletes through social media.

unable to legally place bets at any of the sportsbooks

OCCC executive director Matt Schuler spoke about the topic on Wednesday, saying that he will possibly ask the commission to consider putting any sports bettor in Ohio who makes violent threats or harasses college athletes over a sports bet on an exclusion list. This would mean that they would be unable to legally place bets at any of the sportsbooks in the state.

It is unclear how long such an exclusion would be in place. Talking about the possible harassment ban at an OCCC meeting on Wednesday, Schuler said: “We don’t have control over people’s behavior, but we do have control over the venues in how they participate.” He had not previously planned to make these remarks during the meeting, but a number of recent incidents prompted him to do so.

An important issue

Schuler was recently made aware of sports bettors violently threatening players on the University of Dayton basketball team. Ohio authorities may need to work with social media companies to help identify the offending individuals.

Despite these remarks, there was no official action taken on the matter at the OCCC meeting, the first of 2023; it had not been on the planned agenda. University of Dayton director of athletics and vice president Neil Sullivan welcomes the idea of protecting college athletes from irate sports bettors.

Concerning incidents

It was during a press conference on Tuesday that the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball head coach Anthony Grant mentioned how numerous team members had received threats of violence after they lost by a point last week to Virginia Commonwealth. The Flyers had led the game by 14 points at halftime. Numerous Twitter comments about the game implied that it had been rigged or talked about lost money from unsuccessful wagers.

Grant called on people to give the team members a break, emphasizing how they are mainly between 18 and 22 years old. Grant believes that the recent launch of legal sports betting in Ohio could “really change the landscape of what college sports is all about.”

already issued numerous six-figure fines to operators for a variety of issues

Sportsbooks launched for the first time in Ohio on January 1. While they have received a lot of support from people in the state, the OCCC has been busy making sure that all operators carry themselves the right way. It has already issued numerous six-figure fines to operators for a variety of issues, including exposing underage people to betting-related ads.