NCAA Acknowledges Progress in Getting States to Ban Prop Bets for College Games

  • Ohio, Louisiana, Maryland, and Vermont have introduced bans
  • Individual player prop bets are more open to manipulation
  • The NCAA is using AI to analyze threats that student-athletes get
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The NCAA is pleased with the progress so far in getting state regulators to prohibit prop betting markets for college sports. [Image:]

A good start

The NCAA is happy with the progress made so far in getting states to prohibit prop bets on college sports. The governing body wrote to gaming regulators across the country in March to try to bring an end to individual performance markets due to concerns about how they might impact student-athletes.

Ohio was the first state to ban prop betting on college games

In a press release, the NCAA highlighted that Ohio was the first state to ban prop betting on college games, with the authorities in Louisiana, Maryland, and Vermont subsequently doing the same. Similar bills are currently under consideration in other states like New Jersey and North Carolina.

Two big concerns

The NCAA has highlighted the harassment that student-athletes can receive from bettors when their wagers don’t go to plan, which can have a negative impact on their mental health. The governing body is working to combat it by monitoring social media and flagging any concerning content, educating students, and lobbying lawmakers to implement changes.

The other major concern with prop bets is that these types of markets are more open to manipulation. For example, a basketball player could intentionally miss a free throw during a game to make sure they don’t score a certain number of points.

Prop markets are even a concern in the NBA after Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter received a lifetime ban from the sport last month for limiting his participation in games for betting purposes.

The NCAA is also calling on lawmakers to bring in some anti-harassment regulations, such as excluding people from betting through legal sportsbooks if they harass athletes. West Virginia now has such a framework in place and the college basketball organization believes others can use this as a model.

Digging into the numbers

The NCAA is currently using an artificial intelligence (AI) system to analyze online threats and abuse that NCAA Championship participants received during the most recent season. Among the interesting findings so far, one in three well-known student-athletes received abusive messages from bettors and higher profile events came with larger volumes of threats.

90% of all harassment came online

About 90% of all harassment came online and the March Madness basketball tournaments attracted more than 54,000 threatening or abusive comments.

The NCAA will eventually release the full findings and use them as a benchmark for monitoring future competitions.

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