Want To Bet On Colgate/Wagner Cinderella Runs? You Can’t In New York, But UConn Is Available

Written By Grant Lucas on March 20, 2024 - Last Updated on March 21, 2024
Colgate guard Brady Cummins for a story on the rules surrounding what you can and can't wager on in New York for the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

The Entertainment Capital of the World grabs some spotlight again during the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, as New York sets to host two rounds of March Madness action.

For the first time since 2016, the Barclays Center will entertain the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Last time around, Villanova began its run to the national championship, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Kris Jenkins to topple North Carolina in the title game.

Now, it will again welcome teams for the tourney. And certainly there will be heavy action through sportsbooks in New York. Which all brings up the reason to provide a reminder of what games you can bet on in New York.

Rules on March Madness betting in New York

While much of the tournament attention will revolve around the likes of UConn, looking to become the first team since Florida in 2007 to successfully defend its national tital, as well as a host of other top seeds, New York has some of its own competing for a deep bracket runs.

Take No. 16-seeded Wagner, for example, in the national tournament for the first time since 2003. Wagner defeated Howard in a First Four game on Tuesday to earn a matchup against top-seeded North Carlina on Thursday. That will certainly be a tall task for Wagner, as the Tar Heels stand with the fifth-best odds to win the national title, according to FanDuel Sportsbook NY.

On top of that, No. 14 Colgate is back in the dance, making its fourth straight tournament appearance. Yet the Raiders are still searching for the program’s first tourney win, going 0-6 heading into 2024.

But say this was the year Colgate finally got into the win column, would you be able to bet on it in New York? Not according to state regulations.

As written, the law dictates that you can participate in March Madness betting in New York, even if games take place in New York. During the regular season and the tournament, any games involving New York colleges are off limits.

So, for example, you could bet on UConn to begin its title defense against No. 16 Stetson at Barclays. Same for No. 8 Florida Atlantic against No. 9 Northwestern, No. 12 James Madison against No. 5 Wisconsin, and No. 4 Duke vs. No. 13 Vermont.

But, any games involving New York teams, such as Colgate and Wagner, remain prohibited. So don’t expect to bet on either team with NY sportsbooks.

March Madness betting should lead to another big month

March represents the last big month of sports betting in any jurisdiction, which should come as no surprise.

In two years of legal online sports betting in New York, March has attracted an average of over $1.7 billion in bets, leading to almost $130 million in revenue for sportsbooks.

In March 2023, at the time, NY sports betting recorded the second-best month in terms of handle, nearing $1.79 billion.

This year should certainly challenge that mark. The American Gaming Association estimates that American adults will wager around $2.7 billion during both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

For perspective, that equates to about 2.2% of the total amount bet by Americans in 2023.

Photo by Adrian Kraus / AP Photo
Grant Lucas Avatar
Written by
Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

View all posts by Grant Lucas
Privacy Policy