Louisiana Gaming Control Board chairman explains decision to ban prop betting

April 10, 2024 2:59 PM
Photo: By CCS Pictures - https://www.flickr.com/photos/125545173@N06/53444728169/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=144479295
  • Mia Doyle, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
April 10, 2024 2:59 PM
  • Mia Doyle, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
  • Louisiana

After the Louisiana Gaming Control Board  banned prop bets on individual collegiate athletes in the state, effective Aug, 1, Chairman Ronnie Johns has said why.

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“We have an obligation to protect the integrity of sports betting, but we also have an obligation to protect the safety and the integrity of college athletes and college athletics as a whole,” he said. “It’s ironic that we actually had been proactive on this even before (the NCAA’s) request. So the timing on it was coincidental, but we’d actually been working this for a few weeks now.”

This move follows a request from National Collegiate Athletic Association President Charlie Baker in late March, when he and the NCAA urged a nationwide ban on college prop bets amid rising concerns of athlete harassment.

Prop bets allow fans to wager on individual player performances rather than team outcomes. They have been under scrutiny after Baker revealed that one in three student-athletes have experienced harassment from bettors as a result of such wagers.

“We had the Kayshon Boutte situation here; former LSU football player who was placing prop bets on himself,” Johns said. “That kind of brought it to light of what might be going on out there.”

Investigations revealed that the 20-year-old had participated in sports gambling from 2022 to 2023 during his time playing for the Louisiana Tigers.

This week, New Jersey became the latest state to introduce a bill that would ban prop bets on college players. Other states that have taken action against player prop bets include Maryland, Ohio and Vermont.

“It’s a countrywide conversation that is going on, and we’re not going to be the only state doing this,” Johns said. “You’re probably going to see virtually every state in the county that has legalized sports betting addressing this in some way, shape or form.”