The time is here. Let the madness begin. Many bettors have waited all year for this action – the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which tips off tonight at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio, with the First Round.
Of course there are parlay cards, contests, and other special events, including top notch viewing parties at sportsbooks around town.
To add to the fun, GamingToday has teamed up with AGame, a leading marketing company specializing in casino promotions, for the fourth annual $100,000 Bracket Buster contest.
The contest is free to enter and offers $100,000 to anyone who fills out a perfect bracket. But even if you don’t guess the winner of each game, including the championship, you can still take home $10,000 if you get 60 correct winners. That is not an impossible feat.
And, the entrant with the most wins, no matter how few, will be awarded $1,000; second place will win $500 and third, $250. As an added bonus and to keep things interesting, there will be a special $10,000 prize if you correctly pick a 16 seed to beat a 1 seed.
Official rules and contest details, along with the entry form, are available at gamingtoday.com.
To help you fill out your bracket you will want to attend Sunset Station’s third annual Tip Off to the Tourney College Basketball Seminar being held tonight at the casino inside Club Madrid from 6 to 7:30.
The discussion on the tourney and what to expect from your favorite teams will be hosted by Chuck Esposito, Sunset’s race and sportsbook director, and Brian Blessing, host of SportsBook radio, AM 1400 KSHP. They will be joined by GamingToday’s Andy Iskoe, Bruce Marshall from the Gold Sheet, and TV sports personality Hank Goldberg.
The event is free; guest questions will be welcome and pizza and soft drinks will be served.
BIG NUMBERS: Interest in March Madness has never been higher. Just days before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament tips off, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is estimating Americans will wager $10.4 billion on March Madness. The number marks a 13 percent increase over last year’s estimated $9.2 billion wagered.
Of the $10.4 billion that will be wagered on the tournament in 2017, only about $295 million – or 3 percent – will be wagered legally through Nevada sportsbooks. The remaining $10.1 billion will be bet on illegal offshore websites or through illegal bookies. Americans annually bet at least $150 billion a year on sports illegally due to the antiquated 1992 federal prohibition on sports betting largely outside of Nevada.
IT’S AN HONOR: When you get up on Saturday morning, April 1, don’t head to the kitchen to make breakfast. Instead, drive over to Applebee’s at Boca Park shopping center where Honor Flight Southern Nevada will host a breakfast fundraiser from 8 to 10 a.m. You will be able to enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage and a beverage for just $10 and help a worthy cause at the same time.
All proceeds from the event will go to providing southern Nevada veterans with a three-day trip to visit the war memorials in Washington D.C.
Honor Flight Southern Nevada, a nonprofit organization founded in June 2013 as a part of the national Honor Flight Network, was created solely to honor America’s veterans for all of their sacrifices. Its mission is simple: to fly our World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials that stand in their honor. To date, it has taken over 253 veterans on seven Honor Flights. The next trip is scheduled to leave April 21 with 17 WWII and 12 Korean War veterans who have been waiting for the opportunity since 2014.
“We want to provide all veterans living in southern Nevada with the chance to experience this trip of a lifetime,” said Belinda Morse, executive director of Honor Flight Southern Nevada. “This fundraiser is critical in helping with the costs of flights and travel for our local heroes.”
For more information call 702-749-5912 or visit www.honorflightsouthernnevada.org.
See you around town.