It seems like everywhere you turn to there is madness, the good news is no, you’re not hallucinating. Las Vegas sports betting pros say this year’s college hoops tourney could be one of the busiest ever for Las Vegas.
This has been confirmed by Frank Kunovic, director of specialty games for Caesars Palace, Rio and Harrah’s who said:
“It’s definitely been the busiest out of the last three (years),”. “We’re sold-out with all our parties and our seats in the sports book. In fact, everything’s sold-out. It’s been very, very busy.”
It’s difficult to track the overall impact of March Madness on Southern Nevada’s casino industry. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority doesn’t track visitation and occupancy numbers for the event like it does for Super Bowl weekend or New Year’s Eve.
Nevada’s Gaming Control Board will provide numbers about March Madness betting. But officials caution that those numbers are only estimates based on informal communications with sports books, which aren’t officially required to report betting numbers surrounding the event.
“Our feedback from the operators is that approximately 70 percent of the basketball handle generated during the month of March is from college hoops,” said Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst with the board’s Tax and License Division.
“Last year, March’s basketball write (total amount wagered) was $422 million,” Lawton said. “That was an increase of $46.5 million, and it is estimated that 70 percent of that write was attributable to the NCAA tournament, approximately $295.4 million.” Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets. Find us on both Facebook and Google+!
The word from executives in sports books and hotels around town is that this year’s March Madness business will be good.
Kunovic said Caesars had to add more than 200 seats to its March Madness party. Ryan Thompson, vice president of marketing for Caesars Palace, Rio, and Harrah’s, said the company’s hotels “will run at almost 100 percent occupancy across the city over the first round of games. We are showing 99 percent at Caesars Palace right now.”
Executives at MGM are seeing similar results according to Micah Richins, senior vice president of hotel revenue management. “The first-round weekend and the 10 days following it is a very strong period for our properties,” Our Strip properties will be filled to capacity, and room rates will show excellent growth year over year as anticipated.”
The action isn’t limited to the Strip. Sports betting executives working downtown and at locals casinos also say this year will be the best in a series of good years.
These executives say that as sporting events go, the Super Bowl still reigns supreme because of its broad-based appeal. But March Madness is closing in.
“The 2016 tournament, for example, was equal last year to the (2015) Super Bowl handle,” Grodsky said. That included all the future bets and props bets.
The fever extends to the online world, where most betting sited have come up with their own promos, at Heritagesports things are just as busy but not complete until you join the action with our special march millions.