I’ve come to think that Venmo, PayPal and the like might very well go out of business were it not for the annual three-week gambling festival known as the N.C.A.A. Division I men’s basketball tournament (estimated wagers this year: more than $10 billion).
But maybe that’s just me, what with the many bracket pools I’m invited to join every spring and the associated entry fees I’m asked to payment-app-as-verb to various gambling enablers — I mean pool organizers — around the country.
My particular challenges aside, this year’s iteration of March Madness and the Final Four is yet another reminder of America’s long-simmering and complex relationship with sports betting.
The United States Supreme Court, in a case to be decided in the next few months, is expected to rule in favor of the State of New Jersey and overturn a ban on non-internet sports betting in all but four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon). According to a recent report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, at least 18 state legislatures are preparing bills to legalize and regulate sports gambling.