Casino Control Commission may ban Ohio sports bettors who harass college athletes online
The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) may look into the possibility of banning Ohio sports bettors who harass college athletes over gambling losses on social media, according to its executive director.
OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler said he will potentially ask the commission to look into placing any Ohio sports bettor on a sports betting exclusion list who harasses or makes violent threats to college athletes on the outcome of a sports bet.
“We don’t have control over people’s behavior, but we do have control over the venues in how they participate,” he said.
Ban for social media harassment
Schuler made his remarks during the Jan. 18 meeting of the OCCC. He initially said he had not planned to make the remarks, but had become aware of several incidents of state bettors threatening members of the University of Dayton’s men’s basketball team.
Schuler said the commission has the authority to place individuals on a sports betting exclusion list. He suggested if the commission can identify individuals making such threats to college athletes on social media, they should be banned from legal sports betting in Ohio.
“I think that it’s incumbent upon the commission to look into that very power, that if social media is able to help us determine who these individuals are who are speaking out hate to kids, then the commission has a responsibility to ensure that certainly those people cannot engage in legal sports gaming in the state of Ohio,” he said.
No official action was taken at the meeting.
Neil Sullivan, Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of Dayton, told Saturday Down South the university welcomed any such protections.
“The University of Dayton appreciates the commission’s attention to this issue. Anything that protects the best interests of student-athletes across the state is something worth exploring,” he said.
University of Dayton head coach speaks out
Schuler became aware of the incidents after Dayton Flyers Head Coach Anthony Grant addressed the issue during a press conference Tuesday night. As reported by Cincinnati.com, Grant seemed to call out individuals who threatened members of his roster after the team lost 63-62 to Virginia Commonwealth last week, after leading by 14 at halftime.
“You know, these young men, we’re asking them to sacrifice quite a bit for us to be able to do what we do and enjoy what we enjoy. So I’m just asking all the Flyer fans just to understand that we’re dealing with 18-, 21-, 22-year-olds, and this is about them. This is about them. Alright? So those of us that love the Flyers – which is the vast majority of our fanbase – we appreciate you. Alright? But if this is about anything else that doesn’t relate to what’s in the best interest of the kids, what’s in the best interest of this university and this proud program and this community that loves the Flyers,” he said during his press conference.
He went on and addressed the changing landscape of Ohio college sports with the legalization of sports betting.
“There’s some laws that have recently been enacted, that really to me – it could really change the landscape of what college sports is all about. And when we have people that make it about themselves and attack kids because of their own agenda, it sickens me. They have families. They don’t deserve that. Mental health is real. So if you’re a Flyer fan, I ask you just to understand what you’re dealing with, with young people. Alright? Take a step back, and reevaluate your priorities. And if you can’t, we don’t need you. We don’t need you.”