The annual NCAA basketball tournament is back after an absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- March Madness is underway. Ohio State fans probably know this with the games getting started on CBS4 this morning. And this is the first NCAA tourney since sports betting started in Colorado.
- And fans are expected to place a lot of bets. Rick Sallinger-- live tonight in Black Hawk. And Rick, some wonder if this could be even bigger than the Super Bowl.
RICK SALLINGER: Well, the answer is, Kelly, yes, it is. You know, this sports betting is a new thing here in Colorado, but betting on these basketball games is nothing new. A lot of bookies have gone to jail for it. But now, you can place bets legally at places like this.
The odds are good that March Madness will bring richness to Colorado.
JAKE FRIESEN: So obviously, it's going to go back to, like, the state, and whatever, and pay for a lot of local causes and things like that.
RICK SALLINGER: The money from sports betting goes to state water projects and if it's a lucky day, into the pockets of gamblers like Jake Friesen.
JAKE FRIESEN: We just got our first win. Florida came through for us in overtime. But yeah, we're rolling. We're good-- looking good right now.
RICK SALLINGER: And it's looking good to sportsbook operations like Betfred, here at the Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk where the real money actually comes in, not in person, but over the phone apps.
TIM MORRISSEY: It's convenience. I mean, people are able to pull out their phone wherever they're at. If they're at work, if they're at home, you know, they can make a bet.
RICK SALLINGER: March Madness is expected to bring in more than the Super Bowl because it happens over many days.
TIM MORRISSEY: So that's the excitement you see. I mean, there's guys up here betting and looking for every game.
NOAH BOHLMANN: Like any gambling, you got to have a good balance of, like, having fun versus, you know, spending too much money.
RICK SALLINGER: What used to be illegal is now perfectly legal.
Hi there, give me $5 on CU over Georgetown by six and 1/2-- my donation to the state of Colorado. I guess it takes a ball like this to get that half point.
Last time I was here, I bet on the Broncos to win the Super Bowl. Let's hope this time, it works out better than that.
Live in Black Hawk, Rick Sallinger, covering Colorado.