North Carolina Bills would ban college player prop betting

Two North Carolina lawmakers filed bills Wednesday to ban prop betting for college players in the Tar Heel State.

Rep. Marcia Morey filed House Bill 967, which would bring North Carolina's sports betting market in line with states like Ohio and Maryland. These states recently banned prop betting for college players, a ban the NCAA has required all states to adopt. The NCAA believes athletes will face increased harassment if betting on college players' props is allowed, and the organization is also concerned about game integrity issues arising from prop betting.

Senator Julie Mayfield filed Senate Bill 788, which mirrors legislation Morey filed in the House.

Both bills would also ban in-person sports betting at college athletic venues eight hours before game start and during the game. While there are currently no retail sportsbooks at college athletic venues in North Carolina, it is possible that at least one will open in the near future.

College props are not a huge market

One of the reasons some states have readily followed the NCAA's call for college props bans is that college players' props make up only a tiny portion of the U.S. sports betting market. The bans do not have a major impact on a state's tax revenue and are of minor importance to sports betting providers.

“I would consider it largely a non-issue,” PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden said Thursday during his company's first-quarter earnings call.

PENN operates ESPN BET, one of eight betting apps in North Carolina. Snowden went on to say that if props were banned, any bettors who bet on player props would likely only bet on other elements of the game such as the spread, moneyline or total. Snowden doesn't believe bans on college props will have much of an impact on his company's bottom line.

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While some regulators, lawmakers and operators across the country have not raised much objection to the bans required by the NCAA, not everyone in North Carolina is expected to support HB 967 or SB 788.

Rep. Jason Saine recounted WRAL He doesn't want bettors to harass athletes over missed prop bets, but he doesn't think an outright ban on prop betting for college players is necessary.

“I will not reward bad behavior by preventing people who behave correctly from placing bets the way they want,” Saine said WRAL.

North Carolina's legislative session runs through July, giving lawmakers several months to debate bills.

Anna Harden

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