Ohio Casino Control Commission Nixes College Player Prop Betting

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated

Following a brief battle with the NCAA, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) announced it would be axing college player props in the Buckeye State beginning March 1. The number of states that offer college props is likely on the decline thanks to an effort from new NCAA President Charlie Baker. Ohio was one of eight states that offered a no-bars approach to collegiate player prop betting. A handful of other states like Illinois and New Jersey offer college player prop betting, but not for in-state schools. Many other states like Arizona and Colorado ban the practice altogether.

Baker, a former governor of Massachusetts, is a vocal opponent to betting on college athletics at all. Recently, a string of college-facing scandals – ranging from LSU and Iowa State football to Alabama baseball – swept across national news outlets.

Ohio Nixes College Player Prop Betting

The Buckeye State launched sports betting on Jan. 1, 2023. In its first year, the state blew away projections, clearing $3B in total betting handle by Q3. For the first 14 months, Ohioans had the ability to bet on college player props, ranging from points scored in an NCAA basketball game to completions in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

From Day 1, Ohio took a laissez faire approach to sports betting. It ranked up there with Michigan in terms of placing few restrictions on markets and operators. OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler individually grants or denies markets. It’s his judgement that determines what books offer in Ohio.

“The occurrences of and increase in the harassment of student athletes based upon their performance or statistics in an intercollegiate athletics competition presents a clear danger to the best interests of Ohio,” Schuler wrote in his opinion Friday.

Less than 1.4% of all wagers (~$104.6M) placed in the state were on college player props in 2023, according to Schuler’s release. He also cited a 12% hold on those markets, far above the two-side average of 4.76%. Schuler noted opposition from the in-state operators. However, he stated that opposition helped support his cause, rather than argue against it.

State Legislators Back Prop Ban

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine sided with Baker and has been vocal about restricting other betting markets, including the NFL Draft. In 2024, Ohio was slow to the window with NFL Draft props. As of Feb. 23, only the third overall pick market was posted at FanDuel Sportsbook while Ohio’s border neighbors posted a dozen markets on the event.

“I am apprehensive of the information that both the NCAA and Ohio’s licensed sports gaming operators provided during the process,” DeWine said in a letter penned to the OCCC. “[I] conclude that good cause supports granting the NCAA’s request [to prohibit Ohio college player props].”

For the next week, residents of the Buckeye State will still be allowed to wager on college player props. But as of March 1, those markets will disappear. Any futures market (i.e. over/under player season passing yards) will be voided by sportsbooks.

What About College Player Awards?

Even states that ban all college player prop markets offer futures on awards like the Heisman Trophy. While Schuler didn’t expressly outline those markets, it’s expected that they’ll remain offered.