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  • Associated Press Houston's Rob Gray grabs a rebound in front of Cincinnati's Gary Clark on Sunday in Orlando, Fla. An estimated $10 billion is expected to be wagered on this year's NCAA Tournament, with only 3 percent being done legally.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:00 am

Spotlight on sports betting laws

$10 billion predicted to be wagered on NCAA tourney

WAYNE PARRY | Associated Press

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Catching games at work

The start of March Madness may mean strategizing to sneak in some games when the boss isn't looking.

Fortunately for you – though not your boss – all 67 games in the NCAA Tournament will be available online. Many of the games, including the Final Four, will require a password through your cable or satellite TV subscription.

Among the changes this year: a special stream to get the hot moments live when multiple games are played simultaneously during the first round. There are also new ways to subscribe to online TV packages, which stream many of the channels you'd get from a cable subscription.

The best places to watch is www.ncaa.com/marchmadness or the NCAA March Madness Live app. All the games will be there, regardless of where they are televised.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – America's gambling industry predicts $10 billion will be bet on the March Madness college basketball tournament – nearly all of it illegally or off the books.

That's one of the reasons the American Gaming Association favors the full legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weeks away from ruling on New Jersey's challenge to a law limiting legal sports betting to just four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, and a ruling that legalizes sports betting nationwide could provide new revenue opportunities for cash-strapped state governments, as well as casino companies.

The group found 54 million people – or about a quarter of the U.S. adult population – participated in a sports betting pool last year, spending $18 billion on entry fees. That includes 24 million who filled out basketball brackets pools and spent $2.6 billion on entry fees.

It also conducted a survey that found roughly two-thirds of states make it illegal to participate in sports betting pools if money is involved. Enforcing those laws, however, has not been a priority for law enforcement.

“Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we're turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments.”

Freeman said only 3 percent of the $10 billion the group predicts will be wagered on the games will be done through legal Nevada sports books, or about $300 million.