Sports betting is now allowed at Tunica casinos, and this is the first year fans could bet legally on the Tigers or whatever team they want in the NIT or NCAA tournaments.
According to the American Gaming Association, one in every five adults in the United States will wager a total of $8.5 billion on the NCAA college basketball tournament. Since sports betting is now legal in Mississippi, it’s creating welcomed crowds at casinos in Tunica for March Madness.
Horseshoe Casino has dedicated a room, with three huge projectors, where people can watch the NCAA games and even bet on the Tigers competing in the NIT.
“We decided to provide our guest with the opportunity to experience the madness in an expanded area where we traditionally have 1,200 people for a concert event with three huge 30-foot screens to provide them with the optimal watching experience,“ said Horseshoe Casino General Manager, Joe Lodise. “It’s been more than we could have expected, and we’re really seeing people that have never been here before which is fantastic.“
Gold Strike was the first Tunica Casino to allow sports betting, then others, like Horseshoe followed suit.
“It’s been more than we could have expected and we’re really seeing people that have never been here before which is fantastic,“ said Hal Wafer, Sports Supervisor at Horseshoe Casino.
Wafer says Tunica will soon be the sports betting capital of the South, welcoming people from states like Georgia and South Carolina.
“It’s a way to drive additional people to the property, to the area Tunica in general I mean it’s been great for the market and for us. We are attracting new customers,“ Lodise explained.
And the move breathes life into Tunica that has previously struggled economically.
“When Saturday rolls around tomorrow, Memphis will be a ghost town because everyone will be here,“ Wafer explained.
The Horseshoe special March Madness room is open this weekend and next, but gamblers can place their bets seven days a week.