Louisiana Bans Individual College Athlete Betting Amid NCAA Concerns

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The tight end Nick Storz may be spotted often on the field during an LSU Tigers football game, but those wishing to place individual bets on his performance need to pack up their dreams. Louisiana, following the lead of over thirty states, has put its foot down on prop bets involving college student-athletes.

On an otherwise ordinary Monday, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) released an important bulletin. It announced that betting on an individual college player’s performance would soon cease to be legal. The gaming control authorities will enforce this rule by 8:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time on August 1, 2024.

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Any proposition bet, or ‘prop’ bet as it is popularly known, which centers around a collegiate athlete’s performance in sports, will then become excluded from Louisiana’s Official Sports Betting Catalog. The new regulations will allow for proposition bets only on full college team outcomes.

The LGCB officials, though cognizant about the pitfalls looming ahead, are confident about the transition. Ronnie Johns, the chairperson of the LGCB, noted that while the regulatory revision could be challenging for operators, they are expected to comply with the altered norms.

The catalyst for this radical decision was a petition by the NCAA to the state’s gaming regulator. According to the NCAA, the regulation of the wagering rules needs a revamp to eliminate college player props. NCAA’s concerns are, however, specific to individual games and do not extend to season-long bets such as predicting the Heisman Trophy winner.

An undesirable side effect of permitting such bets has been the heightened harassment of student-athletes via social media and in person. In a bid to curb this, Louisiana joins ranks with Ohio, Maryland, and Vermont, all of which have urged sportsbook licensees recently to stop offering college player props.

Speaking on the issue, NCAA President Charlie Baker asserted that such bets not only expose students to increased risks but also pose threats to the integrity of the game. He cautions that the enticement of a bribe could lead more student-athletes to throw games.

Citing the barrage of sports betting issues on the rise, Baker expressed concern over how prop bets are compromising the integrity of competition and causing distress to student-athletes and professional players. He commended the states actively engaged in combating these threats by prohibiting college prop bets.

With Louisiana stepping on the brakes, only Kansas, Michigan, and Wyoming now allow such wagers. Many oddsmakers shrug off the ban, reasoning that prop bets comprise relatively little of their total earnings. When Ohio recently banned prop bets, the Ohio Casino Control Commission stated that such bets constituted less than 1.5% of the legal wagers made through the state’s sportsbooks.

As for Louisiana’s alluring sports betting market, the LGCB announced that the state’s online sportsbooks received more than $2.2 billion in bets during the 2022/2023 fiscal year, alongside $307.1 million in bets at retail oddsmakers.

Online sportsbooks retained nearly $206.9 million of the action, while their in-person counterparts pocketed $38.4 million, amounting to a combined approximate revenue of $245.3 million. Among the states that reported over $1 billion in gross sports betting revenue last year, New York topped the list at $1.7 billion, with New Jersey and Illinois trailing at $1.006B and $1.002B respectively.