First March Madness for sportsbooks on the Coast
The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino Sportsbook and Bar is hosting its first NCAA Tournament with legalized sports betting.
Food specials, viewing parties, and extended hours are all on tap for one of the most popular sporting events of the year.
This month, sportsbooks across the Coast are getting their first taste of March Madness. Michigan resident Andrew Hooper said, “Well, I’ll tell you how intense it is, right before the very first game tipoff today, everybody stood up and started clapping like it was a standing ovation. This thing is finally happening, let’s go!”
That enthusiasm is not surprising when it comes to the tournament as it is essentially a taboo to fill out a bracket with friends and family to see how much you can get right. Gulfport resident Tyrus Barnes said, “Man listen, the rush you get when you get that bracket in your hand and you’re trying to figure out how you think it’s going to turn out and then all of a sudden you have a Cinderella team or you have a favorite that just demolishes the Cinderella team. Man, the emotions you get, and the energy you feel among friends and family members, man it’s just amazing.”
The sportsbook capitalized on the fun by extending hours and offering food specials. With March Madness being such a popular event, Race and Sportsbook Manager Will Hall tells News 25 that they were prepared for the massive turnout. “We anticipated this because it’s such a popular event, especially throughout the gaming states. It’s the first venue here in Mississippi so we really didn’t know what to expect, first time ‘Mississippi Madness,’ but so far it’s been fantastic.”
How hard is it to make the perfect bracket? Well, you have a one in 9.2 quintillion chance to get it all right. At the Beau, they have odds on individual games for you to wager on after you trash your bracket. “Individual games, you can bet with point spreads or money line, just simply pick the winner. We also have to make the Final Four for each bracket and win the overall tournament. A lot of different options,” said Hall.