Betting on March Madness Is Big Business
Gambling on college basketball’s Big Dance is no longer confined to the office pool.
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- Newsletter sign up Newsletter
Gambling on college basketball’s Big Dance is no longer confined to the office pool. Several states now allow legal sports betting. Before the tournament kicks off in Dayton, here’s what you need to know.
Where It’s Legal
Sports betting is legal in eight states—Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia—plus the District of Columbia. Within the next few months, expect another 20 or so states to consider legalizing sports betting, including California and New York.
How to Wager
In short, you need to be there. Most legal sports betting has been limited to brick-and-mortar casinos. States are gradually rolling out mobile apps, but they’ll have strict GPS requirements to function.
There’s a Catch
Avoid the pitfalls of novice sports bettors. Don’t choose a team just because the odds look great, especially if it’s a parlay bet that requires several successful outcomes (for example, your team winning and having fewer fouls and more substitutions than its opponent). Avoid going all-in on an underdog after a win that might just be a fluke. (Rest in peace No. 16 UMBC, which pulled off March Madness’s biggest upset in history last year against No. 1 Virginia, then lost the next round.)
Uncle Sam Takes His Cut
The IRS considers your gambling spoils taxable income. Some states tax gambling winnings, too. Many casinos will automatically deduct taxes when you cash out. You’re allowed to deduct gambling losses from your taxes, but you must itemize, and the deduction can’t be larger than your total winnings for a given year.
QUIZ: Test Your Tax IQ: Surprising Things Taxed by the IRS
The Odds? Well, They’re Long
The likelihood of picking a perfect bracket is somewhere between one in 2 billion and one in 9.2 quintillion. Either way, it has never happened. In 2014, Warren Buffett offered $1 billion to anyone in the world who could nail a perfect bracket. Following some legal hiccups, he has since modified the award to $1 million a year for life and limited it to his 300,000 employees within Berkshire Hathaway. (As usual, the odds favor the house.)
QUIZ: How Well Do You Really Know Warren Buffett?
Trusting Fintech: Four Critical Moves to Protect Yourself
A few relatively easy steps can help you safeguard your money when using bank and budgeting apps and other financial technology.
By Shane W. Cummings, CFP®, AIF® • Published
Four Ways Women Can Take Control of Their Financial Health
Adjusting for life events, taking advantage of workplace benefits and preparing for caregiving can make a big difference in your financial future.
By Kate Winget • Published
The 10 Cheapest Countries to Visit
Despite inflation, there are some areas where the strong dollar will definitely work in your favor. Travel, for example... we find the cheapest places to visit around the world.
By Quincy Williamson • Published
The 25 Cheapest Places to Live: U.S. Cities Edition
places to live Take a look at our list of the cheapest places to live in America for city dwellers. Is one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S. right for you?
By Dan Burrows • Last updated
Should I Cancel Amazon Prime? Here Are 12 Good Reasons
Amazon Prime The giant retailer had a year of ups and downs, leaving many wondering: Do I need Amazon Prime?
By Bob Niedt • Published
10 Things to Know About Hurricane Insurance Claims
Becoming a Homeowner Hurricane damage? Know what’s covered, what isn’t, and how to make the most of your policy if you need to file a claim.
By Kimberly Lankford • Published
The Most Expensive Natural Disasters in U.S. History
Economic Forecasts Wind, water, fire and drought have all wreaked havoc on the United States. What’s been the worst?
By David Muhlbaum • Last updated
Amazon Prime Day 2022: Some of the Best Deals from Kiplinger Editors
Amazon Prime Amazon Prime Day is here. We’ve identified some great values on products and services, a number of which we’ve used ourselves.
By the editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance • Last updated
10 Tax Deadlines for April 18 (Today is Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline Between requesting a tax extension, making IRA or HSA contributions, and meeting other tax deadlines, there's more to do today than just filing your federal income tax return.
By Rocky Mengle • Last updated
Alternatives to Amazon Prime for Free Shipping and More
Amazon Prime You don’t need to pay Amazon Prime’s juiced $139 annual fee to find a wide swath of products online at different retailers.
By Bob Niedt • Last updated