Vegas, Betting, and the Sports Industry

This post is part of the Inaugural FOS College Program. Be sure to check out more about it here!

By Tiffany Grau, @Tiffany_Grau (Old Dominion University)

Wisconsin upsetting Villanova in NCAA 2017 Men’s Tournament Mark Konezny USA Sports/Reuters

Wisconsin upsetting Villanova in NCAA 2017 Men’s Tournament Mark Konezny USA Sports/Reuters

March is here and “The Dance” has already begun. The excitement, disappointment, surprising wins, upsets and fans adrenaline revolving around this sporting event seems to only come second to the NFL itself, and with these many individuals invested in the NCAA tournament, you can bet that Vegas’ sports betting will be seeing some action.

Want more great content like this? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter

The NCAA tournament, which lasts for three weeks, gives gamblers ample time to place their bets and watch their favorite teams compete for the title. CNBC stated that it is estimated that in Nevada alone, gamblers will place bets totaling between $200 to $225 million. This is an approximate increase of 5% from last year and 15% from the year before.   

At the start of the tournament, UNC was favored to win the tournament to win paying 5-to-1 odds, with Villanova and Kansas coming in second paying 6-to-1 odds, but with an upset in the 2nd round, Villanova was eliminated from the tournament and the payout has changed.  

In addition to the Villanova upset, Duke, who was picked by approximately 2.3 million individuals to win the NCAA tournament, lost to South Carolina (88-81) in the 2nd round.

Current odds for the NCAA tournament before the beginning of the Sweet 16. Image via VegasInsider.com

Current odds for the NCAA tournament before the beginning of the Sweet 16. Image via VegasInsider.com

After a few days of the NCAA tournament, we can see how the odds in Vegas have changed.

Plus, these are not the only ways you can place a bet on the tournament. Between creating your own bracket, betting on individual games, or the future champion of the tournament, Vegas will undoubtedly see their fair share of action and an opportunity to see a large economic gain for the city.  

The NCAA tournament is not the only sporting event that allows Vegas the opportunity to capture millions of dollars in revenue from gamblers all across the world. According to Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC, one better attempted to make $2.1 million if the Falcons won or lost Super Bowl 51 by 1 or 2 points (I think we all know how that worked out). That wager cost this individual $1.1 million.

An article on Forbes also stated that, “Nevada sports books had a record $138.5 million on the game and netted $10.9 million in profit.” At first glance, you may think that these numbers are smaller than the money being spent on the NCAA tournament, but remember, the NCAA tournament spans over a time of 3 weeks, whereas the Super Bowl is one game.

Just remember, Vegas earns a large majority of its revenue from gambling and a significant amount of that revenue comes from sports gambling. The NCAA tournament is no exception. If you are going to partake in some casual sports gambling, please do so responsibly and make sure that it is legal.

And for those of you who are interested in keeping up with the NCAA tournament odds, here is the official link to keep you updated on every game.    

Major League Baseball’s Millennial Problem

Four Observations from a Year of Job Hunting and Grad School Applications