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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — It’s a new era in Atlantic City as March Madness games can now be legally bet on in New Jersey. It’s expected to make casinos in Atlantic City a destination for the NCAA Tournament.
Whether tapping teams on touch screens or picking up wager slips at the window, the opportunity to legally bet on March Madness is bringing buzz to Atlantic City.
“Up to now, I’ve been giving somebody my bets to go to Vegas and now I can do it on my own,” said Borgata sports bettor Harold Sklar.
Close and convenient, Atlantic City casinos with sports books, like the Borgata and Golden Nugget, are expecting big turnouts for the first NCAA basketball tournament since sports betting became legal in New Jersey last year.
Tom Gable, the director of the Borgata Race and Sports Book, says March Madness is “very big” in the world of sports betting.
“So everybody talks about the Super Bowl, obviously that’s a one-day event. March Madness, being that it’s spread over three weeks, typically eclipses that in Nevada and we expect to see something similar here in New Jersey,” explained Gable.
Some casinos, like the Borgata, are hosting special events with college basketball viewing parties throughout their property to accommodate the anticipated crowds. Others, like the Golden Nugget, are looking forward to showing off the investments they’ve made into bright sports betting lounges.
“The Golden Nugget is my home, they got sports betting,” said sports bettor Lewis Hagan. “I find their sports betting to be the best in A.C.”
As people make their single-game picks and fill out tournament brackets, they should also know that March is Problem Gambling Awareness March, and there are resources, like the Game Sense program, which offer advice on informed betting and addiction treatment that are worth taking a look at in the midst of the madness.
“This time of year people will be coming in, maybe for the first time, strictly to bet on the tournament and knowing that they can do it responsibly and still have fun, that’s really what it’s all about,” said Gable.