Welcome to the first March Madness with legal sports betting outside Nevada in the United States.
March Madness betting is nothing new, of course. Last year alone, bettors put up more than $300 million on the NCAA Tournament through Nevada sports betting alone.
The illegal market for March Madness betting claims an even more robust total. An American Gaming Association (AGA) report estimates as much as $10 billion wagered on the illegal market last year.
What’s different for March Madness this year
Your office March Madness bracket is not going anywhere. And you know that Steve in accounts receivable likely will pick his favorite mascots and win once again.
What changed, though, is that you can legally partake in March Madness betting in eight different states. A Supreme Court decision in May overturned PASPA, the federal law banning sports betting outside the Silver State.
March Madness betting is now legal in these states:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
Options vary from state to state. New Jersey offers mobile sports betting, meaning bettors can wager on their smartphones or computers from anywhere in the state. Popular apps include DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, which account for more than 50 percent of NJ sports betting revenue.
Every other state except Nevada still requires bettors to place their wagers at a casino sportsbook. Pennsylvania could launch mobile wagering in the next few months, while Rhode Island passed a law to do so this year as well.
West Virginia features some legal sports betting via mobile, but the state’s only app is grounded at the moment.
How can you bet on March Madness?
Anyone interested can find a March Madness betting option to suit their tastes. Every major media site offers a bracket contest, many of which are free to enter and offer prizes.
For those in legal sports betting states, you can bet on each game and many events within each game. You can wager on the overall winner of March Madness, starting before the tournament and continuing throughout.
For example, in New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook both offer both free-to-play and cash entry bracket contests. In addition to those, single-game wagers are available as well.
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