For the first time ever, Americans can legally wager on the NCAA Tournament from outside Nevada. Not that laws ever stopped anyone from getting action before. But legal sports betting is only available in eight of the 50 states.
The college basketball madness tips off Thursday with the opening day of the First Round. Gonzaga is the only #1 seed in action tomorrow. The Zags face #16-seed Farleigh Dickinson at 4:27 pm PT as they begin their quest to finally win the school’s first national title.
You can legally bet on that game and any other game this March Madness, so long as you do it from a licensed sportsbook in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia, Rhode Island, or New Mexico.
March Madness Betting in Nevada
While Nevada is no longer the only state where you can legally bet on the NCAA Tournament, most of the wagers will be placed in the Silver State. That is because Nevada has hundreds of licensed sportsbooks, and borders California, the largest state in the country, and also a state without legal sports betting.
Most of Nevada’s March Madness bets take place in Las Vegas. If you can’t find a place to wager in Sin City, you aren’t trying.
Las Vegas has some of the finest sportsbooks in the world. Bellagio, Aria, Wynn, Venetian, and Caesars Palace – all Strip properties – are among the most popular spots to bet on sports. If you prefer avoiding drunken tourists, head over to Green Valley Ranch (Henderson) or Red Rock (Summerlin) to get down on the big games.
Outside of Las Vegas, you’ll find sportsbooks 90 miles south in the small casino town of Laughlin. An hour north in Mesquite. Or, in northern Nevada in the Reno area.
Seven Other States to Bet on NCAA Tournament Games
Nevada isn’t the only NCAA Tournament betting destination this year. Even more states – seven to be exact – passed legislation in the past year following the US Supreme Court’s May ruling to overturn a federal ban on sports betting. So, where can you legally bet on the games outside the Silver State?
New Jersey: There are numerous Atlantic City land-based casinos and also mobile sportsbooks ready to take your bets. Daily fantasy sports kings DraftKings (Atlantic City) and Fan Duel (Meadowlands) are popular betting spots. Or, head to Golden Nugget, Caesars Palace, Tropicana, Borgata, or any other sportsbook in Atlantic City.
Delaware: The options are limited to the state’s three casinos – Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway.
Pennsylvania: There will certainly be more options available next year as Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion continues. For now, however, you can place your wagers at Hollywood or Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, SugarHouse, Parx, South Philadelphia Turf Club, or Harrah’s in the Philadelphia area, and Fan Duel Sportsbook at Valley Forge.
Mississippi: Bettors can either visit the MGM properties – Gold Strike, Beau Rivage – and the IP Biloxi in Biloxi. Or, you can bet in Tunica at Sam’s Town or the Horseshoe.
West Virginia: Your options are limited to Fan Duel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier, Hollywood Casino in Charles City, Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland, and Mardi Gras Casino in Wheeling Island.
New Mexico: Albuquerque’s Santa Ana Star Casino is the only spot to bet on the NCAA Tournament.
Rhode Island: Twin River Casino – one in Tiverton and the other in Lincoln – is the only legal March Madness betting location.
You don’t have to be a resident of these states to wager. But you must be within state borders when placing your bet.