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March Madness betting takes center stage

The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that bettors risked more than $15.5 billion while betting on March Madness in 2023. 

With another year of momentum and expanded legal opportunities pushing sports betting to the forefront of the sports industry, that once-gaudy figure could pale in comparison to this year’s totals. 

With the 68-team, single-elimination tournament set to begin next week, it’s important to understand where and what is legal to bet on. Let’s dive into all things related to March Madness betting in 2024.

The main attraction

38 states and Washington D.C. offer sports betting as of tip-off in March Madness 2024. The recent online gambling expansion in North Carolina was the latest in a series of legal changes that occurred since the conclusion of last year’s tournament, won by the Connecticut Huskies.

23 million more than the AGA estimated for the year prior

A total of 68 million Americans, or 25% of the adult population, placed at least one wager during last year’s NCAA Tournament. That was 23 million more than the AGA estimated for the year prior, reflecting the rapid and unrelenting growth of American sports betting.

There are a total of 67 games that can be bet on during March Madness. Spreads, moneylines, total, futures, and prop bets (in certain states) are available for bettors to tap into, as if the general excitement surrounding the tournament isn’t already enough.

With that said, every state differs in what it does and doesn’t allow when it comes to betting on March Madness and college sports. All of those nuances are outlined below.

State rules for March Madness betting

Alabama

Sports betting is illegal in Alabama. Pre- and post-Nick Saban era.

Alaska

Sports betting is illegal in Alaska.

Arizona

Betting on NCAA events, including those involving in-state colleges and universities, is legal. However, college prop betting is prohibited.

Arkansas

March Madness betting is legal with no restrictions. 

California

Sports betting is illegal in California despite the best efforts of lobbyists and many sportsbooks.

Colorado

Users can bet on schools from any state during March Madness, but cannot place college prop bets.

Connecticut

March Madness betting is legal, but futures bets (such as UConn to win March Madness) are the only types of bets involving in-state schools that are permissible.

Delaware

March Madness betting is legal, but users cannot bet on any Delaware schools.

Florida

March Madness betting is legal in Florida, but college player props will not be offered.

Georgia

Sports betting is illegal in Georgia, though legislative discussions are ongoing.

Hawaii

Sports betting is illegal in Hawaii.

Idaho

Sports betting is illegal in Idaho.

Illinois

March Madness betting is legal in Illinois. Bettors can wager on in-state schools and universities if those bets are submitted in person at retail establishments. Prop bets involving players from any Illinois schools are illegal.

Indiana

Indiana allows locals to bet on March Madness—realistically, how could it not? However, live college prop betting is illegal.

Iowa

Sports betting betting is legal in Iowa, but college prop betting with events involving local schools is not.

Kansas

March Madness is totally legal in Kansas. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.

Kentucky

Kentucky is one of several states that legalized sports betting between the conclusion of March Madness 2023 and the tipoff to the 2024 tournament. There are no restrictions on bets that can be placed (at legal outfits).

Louisiana

March Madness betting is legal during folie de march…sorry, I mean March Madness. 

Maine

Maine, another state that recently legalized sports betting, allows users to bet on college sports during events that don’t involve local schools. College prop betting is illegal regardless of who is involved.

Maryland

Maryland does not care who or where you’re from, March Madness betting is a full go.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts does not allow users to bet on in-state schools unless they’re competing in a tournament, which is convenient, since March Madness is a tournament. College player props are not available.

Michigan

Michigan allows March Madness betting with no restrictions (within the legal framework). 

Minnesota

Sports betting is illegal in Minnesota, though talks are ongoing. 

Mississippi

Mississippi allows sports betting on all schools but only at retail locations. College player props will not be found on the board.

Missouri

Even the Kansas City Chiefs’ reign of dominance hasn’t been enough to sway local lawmakers to legalize Missouri sports betting.

Montana

There’s only one betting app in Montana: Sports Bet Montana. Users can organize their bets at home but must place the bet at a retail location, where they can be on schools from any state.

Nebraska

March Madness betting can include everyone except in-state schools.

Nevada

The mecca of American sports betting offers gambling with no restrictions. 

New Hampshire

New Hampshire allows bettors to bet on March Madness, so long as the game does not involve or take place in the state. College prop bets can be placed based on the same criteria.

New Jersey

The same rules apply to New Jersey as those to New Hampshire…just for New Jersey.

New Mexico

New Mexico sports betting is allowed at five retail locations, each of which has different rules. 

New York

March Madness betting is legal, just not on games involving New York schools. No college player props.

North Carolina

North Carolina just expanded its gambling market to allow online sports betting on March 11. There are no restrictions when it comes to March Madness betting.

North Dakota

Like New Mexico, North Dakota sports betting is legal at a few retail locations, each of which has different rules and regulations.

Ohio

Ohio recently banned college prop betting at the request of NCAA President Charlie Baker. All other forms of March Madness wagering are legal. 

Oklahoma

Sports betting is illegal in Oklahoma.

Oregon

All bets on college sports must be placed at a retail location.

Pennsylvania

Sports betting is legal—college prop betting is not.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island allows locals to bet on March Madness so long as the games don’t take place in Rhode Island and don’t involve Rhode Island schools.

South Carolina

Go for the golfing and Myrtle Beach, stay for no sports betting in South Carolina.

South Dakota

South Dakota allows bettors to risk their money on non-college player prop bets and March Madness lines that don’t involve local schools.

Tennessee

Tennessee forbids college player prop betting and live prop betting 365 days a year (366 on a leap year), including March Madness.

Texas

Much to the chagrin of Mattress Mack, sports betting is illegal in Texas.

Utah

Sports betting is illegal in Utah.

Vermont

Sports betting is fine in Vermont as long as college betting does not involve local schools, unless they’re in a tournament. 

Virginia

Virginia tried and failed to change a rule that prohibits betting on in-state schools (but schools from the other 49 states are fine). College player prop betting is illegal.

Washington

Regular and player prop betting is illegal if a Washington school or sponsor is involved.

Washington D.C.

Betting on D.C. colleges and universities is illegal. Take a boat across the Potomac. 

West Virginia

March Madness betting is legal so long as it doesn’t involve college player props.

Wisconsin

March Madness betting is legal at six casinos or online on tribal land. Bettors cannot wager on in-state schools.

Wyoming

Full steam ahead, no restrictions.

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