NCAA’s Baker wishes sports betting ‘stayed in Las Vegas’

NCAA President Charlie Baker wishes sports betting 'had stayed in Las Vegas'
Image: Shutterstock

NCAA President Charlie Baker has been one of the loudest voices calling for betting on college sports to be curbed, calling for measures such as a can on player prop wagers on college sports. This week, he admitted that he wishes “sports betting had just stayed in Las Vegas.”

Baker regrets U.S. betting expansion

Speaking at the 2024 NACDA & Affiliates Convention in Vegas this week, Baker noted that the NCAA has, so far, managed to work with four states in shutting down prop betting on college sports. But he wishes wagering on sports could be put back in the box entirely.

“This all has to stop,” Baker said on Monday, as quoted by Fox Sports writer Bryan Fischer. “I wish sports betting had just stayed in Las Vegas.”

Per Extra Points newsletter writer Matt Brown, Baker added that with college sports betting legal in many states, “it is far more challenging for young people to avoid it.”

“We have taken a hard line against prop betting in college sports,” added Baker.

The NCAA chief again highlighted concerns around the potential harassment of college athletes from punters whose bets depend on their performance in games. Baker suggested that some of the pressure comes from athletes’ friends and classmates.

States take action

Back in March, Baker issued a statement urging all states that have legalized sports betting to prohibit individual prop bets for college athletics events, noting that these bets not only lead to athlete harassment but threaten the integrity of competition.

Several states have taken up his call in recent months recently implemented bans on college prop bets.

Louisiana will ban sportsbooks from offering prop bets on college athletics starting Aug. 1, joining Vermont, Ohio and Maryland in implementing a blanket ban on those types of wagers on NCAA games.

At the other end of the scale entirely, Montana Lottery Director Bob Brown recently said the state would not be following suit and will continue to allow college prop betting.