The effects of sports betting on March Madness

Alyssa Gonzales, Sports Editor

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As the month of February winds down, talk of March Madness has become more prevalent. As the weeks roll on, the 68 teams will play and are out to secure their spot in the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and ultimately, the National Championship. As the madness begins, many have started to put their brackets together and predict the top contenders for this year.

When it comes to bracketology, there are many different methods and tips people take up in order to create a bracket that will be as accurate as possible. With the recent legalization of sports betting in many states, the significance of a precise bracket has become more compelling.

In 2018, approximately eight states made the practice of sports betting legal. These states include New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi, Delaware, Rhode Island, Nevada, and West Virginia. Other states that are leaning towards potentially legalizing sports betting include places like Texas, South Dakota, Oregon, and many other states that have introduced bills but they have yet to be passed. Other states, such as Utah, have anti-gambling laws embedded into the state’s constitution.

In Texas specifically, a 15-page bill was proposed on Feb. 1st, 2019 that would require sports betting operators to have a permit and pay a fee of $250,000. There would also be a 6.25 percent tax imposed on sports betting operators. This bill was proposed by the 38th district representative of Texas, Eddie Lucio III.

According to CNBC, Americans spent a total of $18 billion in wagering of March Madness last year. Though there is a large amount predicted to be spent on sports betting, most of it will be done illegally. This is one of the many reasons why the American Gaming Association supports and is pushing for the legalization of sports betting in every state. According to the American Gaming Association, “ Nearly 8 in 10 Americans support legalizing sports betting in their state.”

Though the practice isn’t legal in every state, there are numerous betting sites where people can go and place their bets on teams throughout the tournament and fill out their own brackets. Some fans and avid watchers of sports see the positives of sports betting. For example, the sales tax revenue that comes with the process would actually help the economy. On the other side, there are many fans that are worried about a possible shift in the nature of sports. Some believe that the legalization will lead to sports becoming more about betting than the actual game itself.

Personally, I believe that concept of betting will continue on regardless on whether or not it is legalized. Many find ways to place their bets on their sports and teams on websites or work pools. The integrity and meaning of sports hasn’t changed because of it. March Madness has served as a fierce competition that allows teams around the nation to prove their abilities, shock college basketball fans and bust brackets around the nation. 

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About the Writer
Alyssa Gonzales, Senior Reporter

My name is Alyssa Gonzales. I’m a sophomore, broadcast journalism major from Lubbock, Texas. I have a passion for news writing and sports. This is my...

The effects of sports betting on March Madness