Sports Betting Banned In Two States With Final Four Teams

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Sports Betting Banned In Two States With Final Four Teams
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During the biggest college basketball weekend of the year, bettors in two states with teams in the men’s and women’s Final Four showdowns are banned from placing legal wagers.

On the men’s side, the University of Alabama entered the weekend as a surprising March Madness Final Four challenger, while the women’s team from the University of South Carolina has been regarded all season as a title contender.

Bettors in Alabama and South Carolina hoping to wager on their home-state team — or any other team — are frozen out. Sports betting is illegal in Alabama and South Carolina.

Final Four Matchups, Odds

The women’s Final Four title game is Sunday, while the men’s championship game is Monday. Below are the matchups heading into the weekend, beginning with the woman’s games on Friday.

Women’s Friday Games

South Carolina (-11.5) vs. North Carolina State

Iowa (-2.5) vs. UConn

Men’s Saturday Games

Alabama vs. UConn (-11.5)

North Carolina State vs. Purdue (-9)

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

In North Carolina and Connecticut, sports betting in legal. Those states are represented in the men’s and women’s Final Four games by the same two teams (N.C. State and UConn).

Sports betting also is legal in Indiana, where Purdue is located, and Iowa.

Last month, North Carolina became the most recent state to legalize commercial mobile sports betting.

Across the country, sports betting is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Alabama Lawmakers Grapple With Gaming Legislation

While sport betting is illegal in Alabama, a bill to expand gaming in the state still is alive at the Legislature, with the measure headed to a conference committee so Senate and House members can attempt to settle differences.

The House earlier approved a broad gaming bill with a proposed constitutional amendment to allow sports betting, but the Senate eliminated the sports wagering proposal while leaving in a state lottery and some casinos.

According to the Associated Press, the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Chris Blackshear, R-Smiths Station, “is hopeful that lawmakers can reach an agreement, but he also acknowledged there is a vast difference between what the two chambers approved.”

The Alabama legislative session is set to end May 20.

Of the 12 states with universities that have athletic teams in the Southeastern Conference, six do not have legal sports betting. Oklahoma is included in this list, since the University of Oklahoma is set to join the SEC on July 1, 2024.

These half-dozen SEC states are the largest geographical block in the country without legal sports betting. In a recent episode of “The Edge,” Steve Bittenbender, a reporter for the Group, discussed the potential for legalized sports betting in SEC states.

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Larry Henry

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