March Madness expected to break betting records, sees growing interest in women's sports

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The peak of college basketball is here. March Madness kicks off Thursday on an even larger scale this year. 

The Westgate SuperBook puts the ‘madness’ in March Madness, with people lining up as early as four or five in the morning to grab a seat to watch the tournament. 

“It’s going to be a packed house for all four days. It’s one of the biggest sporting events that we have each and every year. It rivals the Super Bowl,” said Westgate Superbook Executive Vice President Jay Kornegay.

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Not an empty seat at the Westgate Superbook as fans come in from all over to cheer on their teams and place their wagers. Since last March Madness, more states have legalized sports betting, but that hasn’t affected the crowds flocking to Las Vegas.

“You take all the jurisdictions now that have legalized sports betting. We are looking at records. You’re talking in the billions now, and certainly a lot more than we had last year. It really hasn’t affected Nevada. We see a lot of new faces of people that have been playing in other states eventually like to come to Vegas, especially for this event,” said Korengay.

Two females watch the basketball game

On top of that, interest in women’s sports has grown significantly.

“The overall interest in women’s sports has grown in the sports betting world, and especially for this basketball tournament. With Iowa and what they’ve done, along with all the other popular teams that have received a lot of coverage during the course of the season, we’re seeing numbers that we’ve never seen in women’s sports,” said Kornegay.

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Some sportsbooks have made adjustments accordingly.

“We’ve seen a handle increase almost double digits. And we offer, I think, almost double the events than we did last season for the postseason for women. So just we see the interest in our customers. And so we’ve stepped up and doubled our coverage in terms of things that you can transact on,” said Caesars Sportsbook Head of Sports/COO Ken Fuchs.

A sign with a tip on betting at the SuperBook

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Caesars Sportsbook advises bettors, if you’re putting down money on March Madness, you have to put in the work.

“What you want as a sports bettors, you want to feel like you’re making a knowledgeable bet. You want to prove that you’re right, that you’ve done the work and March Madness is one of those events where you do the work, you’re go in and you research all the teams and the players,” said Fuchs.

Both sportsbooks say it is nearly impossible to have a perfect bracket, but there are still plenty of ways to make money off of this tournament, with proposition wagers, in-game wagers, and more.

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