NC Sports Betting College Prop Ban Sponsor Sees Option In Play

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NC sports betting

Lawmakers pursuing a ban on college props in NC sports betting are pivoting their objective from bans to punishments. 

Sen. Julie Mayfield told LSR last week that a bill to ban college prop bets she introduced with Rep. Marcia Morey is unlikely to move this session. Mayfield said the sponsors who led the charge to legalize online NC sports betting are against the proposed ban.

Instead, Mayfield said she would be satisfied with creating consequences for bettors who harass athletes. She said it could be similar to a bill passed in West Virginia this year.

NC sports betting bill pivot

Rep. Jason Saine, a primary sponsor of sports betting legislation last year and member of the controlling Republican party, said it would not help curb the issue of harassment.

With a legislative roadblock in front of the college prop ban legislation, Mayfield said she started conversations about setting up punishments for bettors who behave out of line. Mayfield, a Democrat, said she passed the West Virginia legislation around with legislative staff and a Republican lawmaker.

“It’s an alternative that if we’re not going to ban the bets, I would be happy to create consequences for bettors who behave badly,” she said. “My hope is it is something that could move forward this year or next.”

Growing issue for NC sports betting?

Athlete harassment gained attention during the NCAA Tournament when UNC basketball player Armando Bacot said the issue was getting out of hand. Mayfield said she does not see the problem subsiding.

“The stories that we hear from athletes are going to increase and compound. If there is not enough motivation this year, maybe there will be next year,” she said. “These are folks who are already under a tremendous amount of pressure; they have academic, athletic pressures, going pro or not. Now they’ve got NIL issues they have to deal with.

“It’s just a lot to put on a young person who doesn’t have infrastructure around them to manage.”

NCAA calls for bans

NCAA President Charlie Baker issued a request for states to ban college player props earlier this year. 

Ohio and Maryland lawmakers altered college prop laws this year, while the Louisiana Gaming Control Board prohibited the wager type.

Photo by AP/Ashley Landis