Sports betting underway ahead of March Madness

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Tipoff to March Madness is hours away and this year there are more opportunities for Virginians to get invested in the action.

The Virginia Lottery approved three new permit holders Monday, meaning there are even more platforms to place sports bets.

“It’s a gold rush. There’s very few industries that have seen massive growth like the online gambling industry,” Vice President Max Bichsel said. helps drive traffic to sports betting and other gambling sites.

Since Virginia launched its sports betting at the end of January, the company has been pleased with the data. So far, the Virginia Lottery has only released numbers from the first 11 days of its legal sports betting.

Those data show from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, $58,896,564 was wagered, with $39,710.31 going back to the state in tax money.

“It’s a win-win for the consumers because they are now protected and wagering legally and the state now gets to tax that revenue,” Bichsel said.

Bichsel said they are now looking forward to seeing the numbers from March Madness bets.

“I think overall will be very positive and I expect the figures that come out and be published by the lottery will certainly reflect that,” Bichsel said.

A heads up for gamblers here in the commonwealth, regulations make it so you cannot bet on local colleges or high schools. So even though you can still root for your favorites, you can’t place money on any Virginia teams.

“If they progress into the tournament and they are on national televised games and people in Virginia want to wager on that, it could be a bit frustrating,” Bichsel said.

Other states have started to revisit a similar regulation, Bichsel said.

If you plan to make one of your first bets during the NCAA Tournament, Bichsel recommends taking a look at each app so you can decide which you like best.

Also be mindful of how much money you are putting into the app, because there is always the risk of losing it in a bet.

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