Bettors take advantage of first full day of NCAA Tournament
Several dozen bettors including Braden Ward were packed in tight at the FanDuel sports book at Kansas Star Casino. They were taking in the first full day of the men’s NCAA Tournament.
Ward says he got there “at 9 a.m." to claim a seat and "it was just barely early enough.”
Kansas Star staff say Ward wasn't even the earliest one, they had people claiming seats at 6:30 a.m.
"The first weekend of March Madness in any sports book across the country is by far the busiest, most engaged, interactive crowd," Assistant Manager Doug Lane told KAKE.
The American Gaming Association predicts one-quarter of Americans will bet on the tournament this year, wagering $15.5 billion. Kansas is one of three states who have legalized sports betting since the last tournament, so this weekend is the first taste of what it's like for Kansas Star.
Lang says “we really got to see a little bit of what it could look like over the Superbowl with the Chiefs playing but this was I think, more than we even expected.”
Kansas Star officials say that KU and K State being in the tournament will help bring more people out the farther they advance but on the first day, people come out really to enjoy every game. Lang says “we had over 700 bets this morning before the first game" adding that “it's just a whole new dynamic for us. I mean, typically folks go to their local bar or grill restaurants to watch the games, this is really an unparalleled experience."
For Ward, he says betting on the games as they are on adds another layer to the experience. “It's awesome because you know if you put $20 down on the game, it just makes it so much more enjoyable and so many different games going on. It's just a blast being out here.”