Back in the day, apple pie and baseball represented the all-American experience.
Today, especially this time of year, it’s all about filling out March Madness brackets.
The sheer joy of bragging about a predicted upset. The glee that comes with boasting about sitting atop your pool after each game. The feeling of invincibility when you actually win.
Now, DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey is adding a monetary reward to the mix.
In a first-of-its-kind legal offering, at least outside of Nevada, DraftKings on Tuesday announced the launch of DraftKings Brackets ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
With it, users can fill out brackets and earn cash for correct picks.
How to play DraftKings Sportsbook bracket contest
As NJ online sports betting continues to grow, DraftKings continues to find ways to stay ahead of the game.
With DraftKings Brackets, users have the option to enter public or create private contests prior to the tournament, which is scheduled to tip off with the First Four on March 19.
Customers anywhere in the nation can choose to enter a free-to-play bracket at a shot at $64,000 in prizes, and players in New Jersey have the option to purchase a $20 bracket for a chance at $100,000.
Fans can also enter public contests or create private ones at the beginning of the tournament or join the Round of 32 or Sweet 16.
According to the DraftKings announcement, more offerings could be on the way, too.
“College basketball and sports betting fans alike can expect more contests to open prior to the beginning of the tournament, too. Using the app’s ‘Reserve A Seat’ function, players can hold a spot in various contests until the teams are selected on March 17.”
Where to find DraftKings March Madness brackets
“To provide customers with the most complete tournament experience available,” the announcement stated, Brackets will be integrated within the DraftKings Sportsbook via the app on iOS and Android.
From the press release:
Using the app’s “Reserve A Seat” function, players can hold a spot in various contests until the teams are selected on March 17.
The actual bracket contest is available via the DraftKings Sportsbook app only but you can reserve a seat via the browser ahead of Selection Sunday.
“As American sports fans during March Madness, we are all playing bracket contests with our friends, family, and co-workers,” DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish said in the release. “By launching Brackets on DraftKings Sportsbook, we are bringing the number one-way fans to engage with March Madness to the biggest stage — DraftKings’ industry-leading fantasy sports and sportsbook apps.”
What if NJ college teams are selected?
New Jersey law prohibits sports bets on any New Jersey college team, regardless of whether the games are played within the state or elsewhere.
In a statement, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement clarified this point:
“The NJ Constitution prohibits any sports wagering on New Jersey collegiate teams whatsoever. Sports book operators must advise customers of this prohibition when wagers are accepted on collegiate tournament events that include New Jersey teams.”
If Seton Hall or any NJ college team does make it to the First Round of play, you can bet there will be no betting on those games even if it’s in a bracket contest such as the one DraftKings has planned.
Thousands of dollars up for grabs
The free-to-play pool limits users to one entry per person, while the paid entry for New Jersey residents allows users to create up to 16 entries.
As for distribution, the free-to-play pool pays out the top 6,475 places, including the top five finishers:
- First: $5,000
- Second: $3,500
- Third: $2,500
- Fourth: $2,000
- Fifth: $1,500
The big tournament spreads winnings out among the top 1,195 places, highlighted by the top-five payouts:
- First: $20,000
- Second: $10,000
- Third: $7,000
- Fourth: $4,000
- Fifth: $2,000
DraftKings adds more to its top product
Since online NJ sports betting launched last August, DraftKings Sportsbook has been the trendsetter.
Through January, the company accumulated $37,323,647 in NJ sports betting revenue, representing nearly 54 percent of the mobile industry’s overall total.
Aside from the Super Bowl, March Madness attracts arguably the most attention nationwide. Certainly, then, DraftKings wants to capitalize on it.
It did so last month when it introduced Big Game Squares for the NFL’s biggest game of the year.
Of course, DraftKings Sportsbook still offers March Madness betting:
To reach the Final Four
To win the national championship
Now, though, fans can dive even further into tournament action, courtesy of DraftKings Brackets.