PlayUSA Rewind: Betting Hot Spot New Jersey Tapped For 2025 NCAA Tournament

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on October 20, 2020 - Last Updated on February 19, 2021

There has been a changing of the guard. The captain has been overthrown. However you want to spin it, Grant Lucas, the PlayUSA Rewind creator, has retired.

Just kidding — Grant has simply passed his weekly duties to me! Each week, I’ll do my best to continue what Grant started by providing you with the latest gambling news, insights and why it all matters.

With that said, let’s crack open a new bottle and dive right into the hot gambling topics of the past week.

On the rewind:

Madness in New Jersey!

If you know anything about New Jersey sports betting, you know two things.

  1. There’s no betting on in-state college teams.
  2. There’s no betting on any NCAA event that takes place in the Garden State.

You with me so far? Good.

You might ask, who cares? So you can’t bet on Seton Hall, Princeton or Rutgers — small potatoes, right? But what if the University of Kentucky was suiting up to play North Carolina or a heavyweight matchup between Duke and Kansas was on the docket?

Then all hell would break loose.

That might be the case down the road when the Prudential Center, the world-class entertainment venue in Newark, hosts the 2025 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – East Regional. This, plus the fact that the wheels of government take a very long time to turn, means lawmakers in New Jersey have decided to get a jump on changing these gambling laws.

Senator Paul Sarlo announced legislation that would allow betting on games played in New Jersey during the 2025 NCAA Tournament. However, the bill might be at the mercy of the state constitution.

“March Madness is a high-profile event on the sports betting calendar, and we should be a key player,” Sarlo said.

The takeaway: Research from the American Gaming Association shows Americans wager around $8.5 billion on the tournament each year. The NJ sports betting market continues to skyrocket. In September, the state took in more than $748 million in bets, shattering its own record set the previous month. Sure, these are football numbers, but regardless, March Madness betting brings in revenue. If an entire state cannot bet on NCAA tournament games five years from now, that’s just free money left on the table.

Exposure is king when it comes to partnerships

Our second story involves, yet again, two of the biggest names in sports betting, DraftKings and FanDuel, and their partnership with a prominent media company.

Both DK and FD have partnered with WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports to provide live odds and analysis for different sporting events.

In the first deal, The FanDuel Group will be the exclusive partner for NBA programming. Turner Sports will integrate FanDuel Sportsbook odds and analysis into live broadcasts of NBA games.

Turner Sports’ second deal, with DraftKings Sportsbook, will involve odds and analysis for NCAA Men’s Basketball and Major League Baseball.

The takeaway: There isn’t going to be enough brand exposure to go around, at least when it comes to the four major sports leagues. Sure, there isn’t a cap on how many of these deals Turner Sports could make, but physical TV screen space is limited. You can’t have a DraftKings ticker, a Barstool Sportsbook ticker and a BetMGM ticker clogging up a single TV screen. Other sports betting companies will attempt to secure lucrative deals with other major networks, and in theory, every TV station could have a different odds feed. That’s just the direction the world is moving in.

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IL sports betting gets a much-needed extension

Our last bit of news deals with Illinois online sportsbooks and remote registration.

Once again, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has come to the rescue, gained more political favor with sports bettors, and extended their ability to sign up for betting accounts remotely.

Until Nov. 14, Illinois sports bettors can sign up for an online sports betting account from anywhere in the state. There are currently five online sportsbooks to choose from, and you don’t have to leave the couch to choose.

The takeaway: COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared. Pritzker is covering his ass and allowing customers to register online rather than risk casinos being shut down for a second time because people are clogging up sportsbooks trying to sign up. It’s a smart safety decision and political chess move: Stay in the good graces of gambling companies like DraftKings and FanDuel that prefer remote registration, and continue to keep donations flowing into that re-elections coffer.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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