March Madness contests all over Vegas

March 17, 2015 3:08 AM


Eastside Cannery part of Sout hpoint's $10k NCAA JackpotThe excitement can be felt all over town. March Madness – that crazy onslaught of seemingly endless NCAA basketball tournament brackets – is about to start. Las Vegas will be filled to overflowing, and nearly every television, big and small, in bars, restaurants, sports books and homes will be tuned to the 48 games to be played over four days, March 19 to 22.

And, if you haven’t already entered one of the local contests, you’d better get to it so you don’t miss out on the added fun and enjoyment they contribute to tournament watching, not to mention the possibility of winning some extra do-re-mi.

Our favorite, of course, is our very own GamingToday $100,000 Bracket Buster Contest. The best part about this one is it’s free. That’s right. Simply go to the GamingToday website (, click the “Register Now” icon at the top of the page and sign up. Then make your selections and you’ve got a shot at $100,000.

Another great contest is the Last Man Standing at all Station Casinos. As the name implies, it is an elimination contest where the winner takes all, which is guaranteed to be a minimum of $50,000.

Entry is just $25 and if you buy four entries you will be given a fifth entry for free. You can’t beat that. Simply go to any Station Casinos sports book, including Fiesta and Wildfire Gaming, to pick up an entry form and get all the rules. You can also enter at the El Cortez in downtown.

Better hurry, you don’t want to get shut out. All entries must be submitted by 9 a.m. Thursday.

If you are looking for something really simple, check out South Point’s $10,000 NCAA Tournament Jackpot contest. There are no points, no handicapping – just pick the winner of the game. Best of all, ties win!

There are two contests, one Thursday and another Friday. Entries are only $5 each; winner takes all.

In addition to South Point, you can enter in the sports book at Cannery, Eastside Cannery, Rampart and Riverside in Laughlin.

For those living in the north end of town you should check out the March Mayhem contest at Aliante. The entry fee is $20 and you can enter as many times as you like. The prize pool will consist of 100% of all the entry fees plus an additional $5,000 from Aliante. There will also be two mid-contest prizes of $1,000 each.

Stop by the sports book to enter and get all the details.

Betting Brackets

For those wondering how popular March Madness really is, not just in Las Vegas but throughout the country, the American Gaming Association has released new research estimating Americans will bet more than $2 billion through more than 70 million brackets this year, and another $7 billion on individual games in the tournament.

That’s $9 billion in total! Of that, only about $240 million will be seen in Nevada sports books according the AGA’s estimates. If we did our math correctly that translates to a mere 2.7%.

Nearly 40 million Americans, says the AGA, will fill out at least one bracket and most will fill out two, betting an average of $29 per bracket.

CONGRATULATIONS to trainer Jack Carava who marked his 1,000th career win at Santa Anita Park last week when even money favorite Perfect Set, piloted by jockey Santiago Gonzalez, scored a 4½ length victory in the first race Saturday.

See you around town.

Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at

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