Betting on the Madness: First time tourney wagers legal in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 2021 NCAA tournament is the first time Hoosiers can legally bet on March Madness without having to leave the state or even their couch.

It’s the third weekend in a row with a lot more action at the Winner’s Circle from bettors like Trae M., thanks to March Madness or the Big Ten Tournament earlier.

While he’s a seasoned sports bettor, March Madness seems a little different.

“It has your blood pumping just because of the upsets; you never know,” he said.

“It’s great,” added bettor Harrison Hatchett. “You don’t have to fly all the way to Vegas.”

While bettors don’t seem to think having the tournament in town makes a difference, Winner’s Circle general manager Jarrod Rogers disagrees.

“I think it definitely does make a difference, especially being right down the street from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. As people use the parking garage and walk to it, some people stop in,” Rogers said.

Rogers said weekend traffic has consistently flirted with capacity limits at times as groups of people come through, often coming to see a specific game rather than stay all day.

Winner’s Circle has been averaging about 1,500 tickets per day during the tournament.

“They come in waves. As the games come on, one fan base leaves and another fan base comes on,” Rogers said. “We did not expect to be as busy as we were. We prepared and we prepared, we wrote things out but just the sheer volume of people … that portion was a bit of a surprise.”

As for Trae, he’s hoping for another successful weekend during the Sweet Sixteen. He won’t say exactly how well he did during the first round: “Just know that I did pretty well.”

But his advice to others, don’t focus on how enticing the wins might be. Focus instead instead of how much you could be out.

“Do as much as you’re willing to lose,” Trae said. “Not looking so much at the gains but look at how much you’re willing to lose so if it does go the opposite way, you’re not too down in the dumps because you were willing to lose that much.”

The state of Indiana took in $1.6 million dollars of tax revenue on sports bets last month. The numbers for March including the tournament won’t be posted until April 12.