Madne$$ mean$ buck$

Mar 13, 2018 3:11 AM

The Madness of March is a totally amazing experience in Las Vegas. The parlay cards, the contests and, of course, the over-the-top viewing parties at the casinos make the Valley of Dollars the place to be for this phenomenon.

And once again GamingToday has teamed up with AGame, a leading marketing company specializing in casino promotions, for the fifth annual $100,000 Bracket Buster contest.

As always, 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

THE PLACE TO BE: If you need a little help filling out your NCAA Tournament brackets (who doesn’t?) you do not want to miss the Tip Off to the Tourney College Basketball Tournament Seminar being held in Club Madrid at Sunset Station tonight (March 13) from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Chuck Esposito, Sunset’s sportsbook director, will host the event and be joined by Brian Blessing, the voice of Sportsbook Radio (noon to 1 p.m.) and Hockey Hotline (1 to 2 p.m.). You can catch both shows weekdays on KSHP 1400 AM.

This will be the fourth annual seminar Chuck and Brian have hosted together.

They will be joined by a great panel of experts that includes Bernie Fratto, host of the Rebel Minute, Andy Iskoe, one of GamingToday’s most popular columnists, and Bruce Marshall of the Gold Sheet.

As always, the seminar is free to the public, so don’t miss it.

BIG BUSINESS: The American Gaming Association estimates $10 billion will be wagered on the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournaments. Sadly, only 3 percent – $300 million – will be bet legally through Nevada sportsbooks.

Americans, it seems, love to bet and will plunk down at least $150 billion annually says the AGA, the trade group representing the $240 billion casino industry in the United States, which by the way supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states.

This is mostly due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which according to the AGA figures has failed miserably in its aim of prohibition.

In addition to the illegal bookies here in the U.S. and the many offshore websites, lots of folks place their bets through sports pools that, according to a legal analysis of real-money sports pool betting commissioned by the AGA, are illegal in roughly two-thirds of the states.

Yes, that means those friendly office pools you participate in for the NCAA tournament, the Super Bowl, the World Series or any other sporting event are likely illegal where you live. Did you know you were breaking the law?

“Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we’re turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments.”

“As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of PASPA, AGA is focused on working with all stakeholders to put the illegal market out of business and enable a safe, legal way for American consumers to participate in next year’s office pool without fear of prosecution,” Freeman added.

The U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision on New Jersey’s challenge to PASPA in the coming months. Many think that ruling will enable an expansion of legalized sports betting as 48 pieces of sports betting legislation are currently active in 18 states.

We hope they’re right.

See you around town.