Complete Guide To March Madness Betting Rules By State

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March Madness betting

There used to be a time not so very long ago when the NCAA refused to host collegiate tournaments in states with March Madness betting.

Things sure do have a way of changing quickly in this industry: of the 14 host sites for this year’s men’s tournament, 11 are located in states with legal March Madness betting. Most notably, that includes the Final Four and Championship games being played at State Farm Stadium in Arizona. The nation’s gambling capital, Las Vegas, will host those events for the first time in 2028.

The field of 68 participating teams meanwhile represents 34 states plus the District of Columbia, and 28 of those have legal March Madness betting odds hung within their borders.

The NCAA’s apparent softening on the issue appears little more than a forced outcome from five-plus years of explosive growth across the legalized industry. Only 12 states remain closed to regulated betting operators as of early 2024.

Which states restrict March Madness betting?

Not all states implement sports betting in the same way, and policy differences will have an impact on March Madness betting across the map. The majority of states have some restrictions on collegiate betting that target a combination of players, teams, and/or games involved.

Here is a full breakdown of local betting prohibitions for the states with teams or host cities involved in March Madness.


Local teams are on the board in Arizona, as are tournament events played within the state. The latter is especially relevant this year with the Final Four headed to Phoenix in a few weeks.

With the exception of awards markets, however, collegiate props are not permitted in the state. This restriction amounts to a small inconvenience for a market that figures to be among the March Madness betting leaders.


Colorado allows wagering on in-state teams and games, but collegiate player props are specifically prohibited by statute.


The law in Connecticut is somewhat unique in that it prohibits betting on in-state teams unless they are participating in a tournament and the bet involves the result of the whole tournament.

That means that while the individual games and prop markets involving UConn and Yale are off the board, March Madness is one of the few opportunities for locals to place futures bets their home teams. Connecticut is also one of the few states that makes this information easy for bettors to find.

District of Columbia

Local collegiate teams and players are not available for betting in the nation’s capital. George Washington (the university) has auditioned for the role of March Madness Cinderella once or twice before, but Howard is the school with the opportunity to represent the District of Columbia for the second straight year. Its games and all associated prop markets are prohibited for betting in the District.


Florida is one of the nation’s newest markets, making this its first March Madness with legal sports betting. The language authorized by voters in 2022 does not include any geographical restrictions on collegiate sports betting, and it specifically mentions prop bets. The modified tribal compact that actually facilitated legal launch, however, contains language that prohibits all collegiate team and player props.


The sports betting law in Illinois includes a one-off distinction between retail and online channels. Local collegiate markets are not available through sports betting apps, but customers can still get down on Illinois and Northwestern games over the counter by visiting one of the 12 retail sportsbooks in the state, including the new DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field.

Collegiate prop betting is meanwhile universally structured to exclude local teams and players.


Sports betting law in Indiana does not include any specific limitations on collegiate betting, but regulators have used their discretionary power to install some guardrails. Operators are narrowly prohibited from offering any in-play collegiate player props, but prop markets are available until the games tip off. Collegiate team props are meanwhile available both before and during games.


Iowa was among the first US states to implement a relevant betting restriction, leaving local teams on the board but prohibiting player props associated with their games. The Iowa market is particularly interesting to watch, as it relates to the women’s half of March Madness, with Caitlin Clark cementing her spot among the nation’s all-time greatest collegiate athletes.


Massachusetts is only participating in March Madness as a host. None of the state’s local teams made the field of 68 this year, but TD Garden is preparing to welcome the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games for the East region to Boston. Collegiate player props are off the board entirely, the only relevant betting prohibition for the state this year.


There are no statutory restrictions on collegiate sports betting in Mississippi, but there does exist a discretionary ban on player props per regulations.


Hosting duties probably will not have much of an impact on the bottom line for Nebraska. Legal online betting is still unavailable in the state, and the closest retail sportsbook to the arena is about an hour away in Lincoln.

Bettors who make the trip will not be allowed to wager on games involving the two local participant teams, nor on any associated props.

New Jersey

The sports betting law in New Jersey pioneered some of these restrictions in 2018, excluding action on all local collegiate players, teams, and games. While state lawmakers have subsequently tried to remove these prohibitions via referendum, they remain in place today.

That means Cinderella candidate St. Peter’s is off the board again at sportsbooks in the state.

New Mexico

Collegiate restrictions in New Mexico are left to the individual tribes that offer sports betting. Their offerings are not subject to any overarching regulation, and the local menu is therefore mixed.

New York

The original sports betting law as passed in New York included collegiate prohibitions on both local teams and local events regardless of the participants.

The first restriction precludes betting on games involving Colgate and Wagner in this year’s tournament. The second restriction would have kept local bettors away from the opening rounds being played at Barclay’s Center, but a 2021 amendment aimed at this exact scenario puts those games in Brooklyn back on the board. Collegiate player props, however, remain fully prohibited in New York.


Ohio has the honors of opening March Madness this year as the host of the the First Four in Dayton. Local teams are on the board in the state, but local players are not. In fact, a recent amendment to the original Ohio sports betting law prohibits all collegiate player props.


Oregon is the only state with a complete ban on all collegiate betting, a prohibition with a complicated backstory that predates the modern era of gambling. Recent legislative efforts to amend the terms have drawn more pushback than support, so there remains no commercial collegiate sports betting in Oregon. Tribal sportsbooks, on the other hand, are not subject to this restriction.


It looked for a while like Pennsylvania was in danger of being a host without a team until Duquesne knocked off VCU in the Atlantic 10 title game over the weekend to secure its first invitation to March Madness in 47 years. The lone local team is on the board in Pennsylvania, as are the tournament games being played in Pittsburgh. The Commonwealth, however, does not allow prop bets on any collegiate players by regulation.

South Dakota

South Dakota does not allow betting on local teams or the games they play, and all collegiate player props are off the board too.


There are no geographical restrictions on collegiate sports betting in Tennessee, but there are format restrictions. The state does not allow prop bets on any collegiate player, nor does it allow in-play props on any collegiate team. Pregame collegiate team props are meanwhile authorized.


Borrowing from another framework in the region, Vermont does not allow betting on the state’s lone collegiate team unless it is participating in a tournament. That carveout puts the Catamounts and their prop markets on the board for March Madness betting, giving locals their very first opportunity to bet on the home team.


Virginia is among the most restrictive states when it comes to collegiate sports betting. Local teams are off the board, even when they are competing in a national tournament like March Madness. Collegiate player props are also entirely unavailable in Virginia.


Tribal sportsbooks in Washington do not allow betting on local teams or players, including props.


Tribal sports betting rules preclude betting on local collegiate teams and players in Wisconsin.

States with no March Madness betting restrictions

A smaller group of states, meanwhile, has no statutory restrictions on collegiate sports betting. Michigan should be in for a small boost as the host of this year’s Midwest Regional, while Nevada will be banking on March Madness as another high point on its seasonal sports betting calendar.







North Carolina

No market is more eager for the next few weeks of action than North Carolina, which just this month expanded its industry to include online betting. And perhaps no fans are more surprised to have a sweat this year than those at NC State, whose Wolfpack made an improbable run to claim the ACC Tournament title and an automatic bid this past weekend. There are no restrictions on collegiate betting in North Carolina, including on March Madness.

States without any legal sports betting

Meanwhile, 19 of the 68 teams in the field come from one of the six participant states without legal sports betting.

California and Texas are the two big ones; both are sending multiple teams to the Big Dance while also acting as Regional hosts for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight rounds in their respective regions. Texas, notably, has more teams playing in March Madness than any other state.




South Carolina