March Madness is a huge time for US sportsbooks when it comes to handle but, like the Super Bowl, it is also about customer acquisition. Accordingly, many operators are rolling out free-to-play bracket contests and other promotions.
For example, Betr is tying its promotion to the introduction of full-game lines, offering vig-free bets on its pre-game March Madness action.
Sporttrade is trying to draw attention to its unique stock market-esque sports betting app. The app launched a new betting tournament focused entirely on in-play betting. Called Battle Bets, the event features eight bettors trying to run up a $100 stake in 25 minutes. The winner takes a $1,000 prize.
BetMGM and bet365 are going with the tried and tested free bracket contest. The BetMGM bracket contest offers up $10 million for anyone who can muster up a perfect bracket. That has yet to happen in the modern era of March Madness, so more likely the event will dole out just the $100,0000 in guaranteed prizes.
The bet365 setup for the bracket game is similar, with $10 million for any perfect bracket and an additional $100,000 in added prize money.
Both contests are only open to customers on the respective apps in the respective states those apps are live.
Last year, Bally’s launched a bracket contest with $100 million for anyone who could put together a perfect bracket. That game is not back in action for this year.
Projections from gaming consultant firm Eilers and Krejcik expect roughly $2.6 billion in legal, regulated sportsbook handle for this year’s tournament. That is much smaller than AGA projections, however, those projections included all forms of gambling, such as office pools and bracket contests with friends, while the EKG numbers are purely focused on US online and retail sportsbooks.