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Sports books await basketball bettors for March Madness

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 3/21/2013 7:40 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Basketball reigns supreme this month in Las Vegas as hundreds of thousands of visitors put millions on the line for March Madness.

It's a slam dunk for the books, and for the bettors, it's all about the non-stop rush.

March Madness means major money for the sports books. The Gaming Control Board doesn't track how much money exactly is bet on the tournament itself but they're telling us anecdotally about 70 percent of the bets placed at these windows in March is on the NCAA Tournament.

Chuck Esposito of Station Casinos says it's the duel between David and Goliath basketball teams that draw the most attention to the NCAA Tournament.

The experts say basketball's take for the sports books can nearly triple during the month of March.

Admittedly, bettors like Mike Whitney contribute to their totals.

“My betting strategy is not very good,” he said. “I bet from my heart, and everybody makes fun of me.

Win or lose, Whitney says for him it's about the excitement of the last-minute heroics.

“It's like Kiddieland for people who follow the sport,” he said. “You got all these games coming on; you got all these things going on.”

As big as this tournament is for the sports books, the Super Bowl remains king. Esposito says that after it's all said and done, the NCAA Tournament should bring in around the same amount of revenue they bring in on Super Bowl Sunday.
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