Mississippi, Arkansas Approach College Player Prop Bets Differently

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Mississippi, Arkansas Approach College Player Prop Bets Differently
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Louisiana is set to ban college player prop bets this summer, but two of its neighbors with legal sports wagering are taking different approaches.

Mississippi already bans college player prop bets — and has no plans to change — but Arkansas allows those wagers while watching for problems.

In Texas, the only other state that borders Louisiana, sports betting is illegal.

Beginning on Aug. 1, Louisiana will enforce a ban on college player prop bets.

The ban begins one month before the LSU Tigers open their football season against the USC Trojans on Sept. 1 in the Vegas Kickoff Classic at Allegiant Stadium just west of the Las Vegas Strip.

Mississippi’s Ban In Place For Years

Jay McDaniel, Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director, told Gambling.com on Thursday the state has banned college player prop bets for years.

In Mississippi, bets are legal at casino sportsbooks but not off-site on mobile devices. 

McDaniel said the state’s list of approved events that casinos can offer prohibits college player prop bets — short for proposition bets.

“This has been in place since 2018 when licensed retail sports betting opened up in our state and was specifically requested by our Division I university athletic directors at that time,” McDaniel said. “I don’t see any need to change that policy, as it has worked well the last six years.”

Arkansas Allows, Monitors Prop Bets

In Arkansas, college player prop bets are legal, but regulators are keeping a close eye out for any wagering irregularities, said Scott Hardin, Arkansas Racing Commission spokesman.

“Saying our sportsbooks are highly regulated would be an understatement,” Hardin told Gambling.com.

The commission oversees all wagering activity in Arkansas, including horse racing, casino gaming at the state’s three resorts and sports betting. Mobile sports betting is legal in Arkansas, as is in-person wagering at casino sportsbooks.

“We have state regulators on-site at each casino with real-time access to wagering data — on-site sports wagers and those placed via apps,” Hardin said. “In addition to this, the state uses U.S. Integrity to scan and monitor wagering data for any potential irregularity. As a result, any irregularity can lead to a player prop being quickly pulled from the board and canceled.”

Hardin said the NCAA has not contacted the commission regarding player props. He added that state regulators are “always open to hearing concerns and recommendations.”

NCAA: Player Prop Bets Threaten ‘Integrity Of Competition’

On the national level, NCAA President Charlie Baker has cautioned that prop bets “threaten the integrity of competition” and lead to harassment of players. This caution comes in the wake of recent sports betting scandals in collegiate and professional athletics. 

Player prop bets allow people to put money on an individual athlete's performance — the over/under on a receiver’s total receptions in a football game, for instance.  

Although prohibiting player prop bets is viewed as one solution, others contend bettors will turn to illegal offshore sites to place player prop bets if they can’t do it legally in the U.S. This faction contends cheaters should be punished instead of bettors wanting legal options.

In more than a dozen states, college player prop bets are banned. Overall, sports betting is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

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Larry Henry

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