Where and what is legal in March Madness betting?

March Madness betting takes center stage

The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that bettors risked more than $15.5 billion betting on March Madness in 2023.

As another year of momentum and expanded legal options pushes sports betting to the forefront of the sports industry, this once-colorful number may pale in comparison to this year’s overall numbers.

With the 68-team single-elimination tournament starting next week, it’s important to understand where and what you’re allowed to bet on. Let’s dive into everything related to March Madness betting in 2024.

The main attraction

38 states and Washington DC offer sports betting as of March Madness 2024 release. The recent expansion of online gambling in North Carolina was the latest in a series of legal changes made since the end of last year’s tournament, which was won by the Connecticut Huskies.

23 million more than the AGA had estimated for the previous year

A total of 68 million Americans, or 25% of the adult population, placed at least one bet on the NCAA Tournament last year. That was 23 million more than the AGA had estimated the year before, reflecting the rapid and unstoppable growth of American sports betting.

There are a total of 67 games available to bet on during March Madness. Spreads, moneylines, totals, futures and prop betting (in certain states) are available to bettors, as if the general excitement surrounding the tournament wasn’t enough.

However, each state differs in what they allow and do not allow when it comes to betting on March Madness and college sports. All these nuances will be explained below.

State Rules for March Madness Betting


Sports betting is illegal in Alabama. The era before and after Nick Saban.


Sports betting is illegal in Alaska.


Betting on NCAA events, including those involving state colleges and universities, is legal. However, college betting is prohibited.


March Madness betting is legal and without restrictions.


Sports betting is illegal in California despite the best efforts of lobbyists and many sports betting operators.


Users can bet on schools from any state during March Madness, but cannot place college bets.


March Madness betting is legal, but futures bets (e.g. UConn on winning March Madness) are the only permitted types of bets involving public schools.


March Madness betting is legal, but users cannot bet on Delaware schools.


March Madness betting is legal in Florida, but no props are offered for college players.


Sports betting is illegal in Georgia, although legislative debate is still ongoing.


Sports betting is illegal in Hawaii.


Sports betting is illegal in Idaho.


March Madness betting is legal in Illinois. Bettors can bet on public schools and universities by placing these bets in person at retail stores. Prop betting involving players from Illinois schools is illegal.


Indiana allows locals to bet on March Madness – how could that realistically be otherwise? However, live betting on college betting is illegal.


Sports betting is legal in Iowa, but college prop betting on events involving local schools is not.


March Madness is completely legal in Kansas. Chalk, Jayhawk.


Kentucky is one of several states that legalized sports betting between the end of March Madness 2023 and the start of the 2024 tournament. There are no restrictions on the bets that can be placed (with legal operators).


March Madness betting is legal during Folie de March. Sorry, I mean March Madness.


Maine, another state that recently legalized sports betting, allows users to bet on college sports in events that do not involve local schools. College betting is illegal regardless of who is involved.


Maryland doesn’t care who or where you are from, anything is possible in March Madness betting.


In Massachusetts, users are not allowed to bet on in-state schools unless they are participating in a tournament, which is convenient since March Madness is a tournament. Props for college players are not available.


Michigan allows March Madness betting without restrictions (within legal limits).


Sports betting is illegal in Minnesota, but discussions are ongoing.


Mississippi allows sports betting at all schools, but only at retail locations. Props from college players are not found on the board.


Even the Kansas City Chiefs’ dominance wasn’t enough to convince local lawmakers to legalize sports betting in Missouri.


There is only one betting app in Montana: Sports Bet Montana. Users can organize their bets at home but must place the bet at a retail location where they can be on schools from any state.


Anyone can participate in March Madness betting, with the exception of public schools.


The mecca of American sports betting offers gambling without restrictions.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, bettors can bet on March Madness as long as the game does not affect or take place in the state. College bets can be placed using the same criteria.

New Jersey

The same rules apply to New Jersey as New Hampshire – only to New Jersey.

New Mexico

Sports betting in New Mexico is permitted at five retail locations, each with different rules.

new York

Betting on March Madness is legal, just not on games involving New York schools. No props for college players.

North Carolina

North Carolina just expanded its gambling market to allow online sports betting on March 11th. There are no restrictions on March Madness betting.

North Dakota

Like New Mexico, sports betting in North Dakota is legal at some retail locations, each with different rules and regulations.


Ohio recently banned college betting at the request of NCAA President Charlie Baker. All other forms of betting in March Madness are legal.


Sports betting is illegal in Oklahoma.


All bets on college sports must be placed at a retail location.


Sports betting is legal – college betting is not.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, locals can bet on March Madness as long as the games are not held in Rhode Island and do not involve Rhode Island schools.

South Carolina

Go golfing and Myrtle Beach, stay in South Carolina without sports betting.

South Dakota

In South Dakota, bettors can risk their money on side bets on non-college players and March Madness bets that do not involve local schools.


Tennessee prohibits college player prop betting and live prop betting 365 days a year (366 in a leap year), including March Madness.


Much to Mattress Mack’s chagrin, sports betting is illegal in Texas.


Sports betting is illegal in Utah.


Sports betting is fine in Vermont as long as college betting doesn’t involve local schools unless they are participating in a tournament.


Virginia tried and failed to change a rule banning betting on in-state schools (schools from the other 49 states are fine, however). Prop betting on college players is illegal.


Regular betting and player betting are illegal when a Washington school or sponsor is involved.

Washington, D.C

Betting on colleges and universities in DC is illegal. Take a boat across the Potomac.

West Virginia

March Madness bets are legal as long as they don’t involve props from college players.


March Madness betting is legal at six casinos or online on tribal land. Bettors cannot bet on public schools.


Full speed ahead, no restrictions.


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