Maryland Sportsbooks Ditch Most College Player Props After Regulatory Change

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Maryland sportsbooks have removed game-specific player props on college sports following a state regulatory adjustment.

University of Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese coaches her team during a game in January 2024. Effective immediately, Maryland sportsbooks can no longer offer player props on college sports like how many points #2 Riley Nelson might score in a specific game. (Image: Getty)

Maryland was in the minority among the nearly 40 states that permit gambling on sports in allowing bettors to make wagers on a college athlete’s performance. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) has confirmed that it amended its sports betting rules to prohibit such wagers. The updated regulation went into effect on March 1.

“Maryland’s sportsbook operators were directed to stop taking college player prop bets,” an MLGCA spokesperson told Covers, which first reported the news.

The decision brings Maryland in line with other states that have disallowed these wagers to protect college athletes against potential harassment. The intent is to focus college sports wagers on the teams rather than on the individual athletes,” the state comment added.

Maryland is home to retail and online sports betting. Retail sportsbooks operate at five of the state’s six brick-and-mortar casinos, and at professional sports stadiums and licensed retail sports betting locations. Marylanders can also access 12 online sportsbooks.

Player Safety

The list of states allowing college player props is now down to just four — Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, and Wyoming. Washington, DC also allows such wagers. Ohio was another state where college player props were allowed until the state’s gaming commission amended its rules last month.

Online sports betting in North Carolina is to commence next week on March 11. Currently, the state’s sports betting regulations don’t prohibit individual bets on college athletes.

NCAA President Charlie Baker is supportive of allowing people to bet on college sports but he’s no fan of player props. He’s repeatedly called on state lawmakers and regulators to ban such bets on claims that those odds threaten student-athlete safety.

Baker, who signed Massachusetts’ sports betting bill into law while governor, says college player props expose student-athletes to a higher threat level for online abuse. He’s fielded complaints from players, coaches, and university administrators that player props have subjected team personnel to heckling. Baker says prop bets are “one of the parts I worry about the most.”

While player props on college sports are no more in Maryland, most college props regarding teams are still allowed. Sportsbooks can also still offer college player props on season-long awards like the Heisman Trophy.

Reporting Tool

During his “State of College Sports” address in January, Baker said a focal point of the college sports organization is strengthening sports betting laws across the country to create a safer playing field. The NCAA has additionally contracted the Signify Group, a data science firm, to leverage its Threat Matrix software.

Threat Matrix is an AI-powered monitoring service that detects and collates abuse and flags serious threats. The program is now monitoring social media channels for threats and abuse of players, coaches, and officials in over 35 languages.

An NCAA poll of Division 1 athletics programs concluded that about 10% of student-athletes have been harassed online or in person by someone looking to gain an upper hand on a sports betting wager.

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