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Greg Sankey the new commissioner of the SEC talks to the media before the quaterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena as we look at the SEC deciding on if it will ban player props.
Greg Sankey the new commissioner of the SEC talks to the media before the quaterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP.

The SEC wields a lot of power in all things college sports, and that now includes a decision set to impact bettors and the best sportsbooks.

The latter came up on Monday during the conference's spring meetings as commissioner Greg Sankey spoke. The issue of banning college player props from being wagered on at the best sports betting apps in legal betting states came up. And while Sankey acknowledged the issue and the push that came from NCAA president Charlie Baker to ban props, he said the conversation is ongoing.

"We had a conversation here last year about it with our student-athletes, so we attach the mental health conversation to sports gambling to the pressures that we are learning about,” Sankey said. “It is a conversation that is taking place at a superficial level. Obviously, (NCAA president) Charlie Baker’s been clear about the need for some change, getting away from the open-ended nature of things."

Baker stressed the need for a ban

In March, Baker called for a ban on college player prop wagering in the 38 states where sports wagering is legal. His request came just as March Madness was getting set to begin, and the tournament always comes with a frenzy of wagering at betting sites.

Ohio, Vermont, and Maryland followed suit and banned college player props, and the ban in Louisiana officially goes into place on Aug. 1, just in time for football season. Meanwhile, Montana and Michigan went against the trend of banning. With the issue quickly bubbling to the surface throughout the spring and decisions being made, we've put together a list showing the status of college player prop betting by state.

"Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity and competition and leading to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed,” Baker said in a statement. “The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets.”

The importance of the SEC

While Louisiana is a key area, the SEC as a whole is still a player-prop friendly conference. And of course, the conference is a juggernaut in terms of viewership and popularity, especially when it comes to football.

As June approaches, the countdown to kickoff for another college football season begins, and that's always a main driver of wagering. Kentucky, Arkansas, and Florida are set to permit player-prop wagering in some form among SEC schools.

Currently, over 20 of the 38 legal betting states offer college player prop wagering, though there are restrictions in some areas. That includes Florida, which only allows player props tied to out-of-state teams.