Sports Betting

Wyoming Gaming Commission’s Michael Steinberg Calls Harassment From Bettors ‘A Major Problem’

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Wyoming Football pic

For several months, NCAA President Charlie Baker has been working to get college player props nationally banned. With the help of lawmakers, Baker wants to protect collegiate athletes from harassment that has happened in the past due to sports betting. During a meeting last Thursday, lawmakers in Wyoming took a step toward banning collegiate player props from being wagered on. 

The Wyoming Gaming Commission recently discussed removing those types of bets from their catalog. Additionally, they want to create harsher penalties for bettors who are found to have harassed athletes. To be able to move forward, the group needed to have specifics to vote on. The Gaming Commission ordered a “suggestive draft” with rule changes to ban college player props. Later this summer, the group will meet to review, discuss, and possibly vote on the issue.

What issues have been seen in the NCAA with betting on collegiate player props?

According to NCAA Assistant Director Austin Meo, the harassment of student-athletes is at the forefront of their campaign. The integrity of sports and insider information is also part of their advocacy. Austin Meo spoke directly with Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl, who supports the banning of collegiate player props. Bohl mentioned the “undue stress” that players suffer from because of these player props. This harassment mostly happens online but it’s also happened in stadiums as well. 

Reports from the NCAA found that nearly 30% of men’s Division 1 basketball players were harassed due to betting. Since the NCAA called for collegiate player props to be banned nationally, four states have done so. Maryland, Ohio, Vermont, and Louisiana have all outlawed wagering on college props. Wyoming could be the next state to follow.

Michael Steinberg has bigger plans for Wyoming

Michael Steinberg is the Wyoming Gaming Commission’s operations manager. He’s responsible for overseeing sports betting in the state. Steinberg wants Wyoming to take the harassment of all athletes seriously, Not just the collegiate athletes. Last Thursday, he asked the commission to look into implementing harsh penalties for bettors who go after athletes. Steinberg had this to say.

In discussion with the NCAA and the University of Wyoming, we see this as a problem,” Steinberg said. “I don’t think we need to stop at the NCAA on our stance on harassment. We have rules against harassment in racing against jockeys.”