Jumping on the March Madness Bandwagon: Casino Marketing to Sports Fans

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Online casinos and sportsbooks as well as Vegas establishments are pulling all the stops to get your business this March.

March Madness is a special time of year. People across America and worldwide shirk their work and other responsibilities to watch games live, stream highlights and read box scores (“psst”: I’m checking my bracket as I’m writing this!). All of that time spent pouring over basketball-related media translates into one broad trend: increased web use. With so many of us spending day and night online feeding our respective March Madness obsessions, online casinos and sportsbooks are looking to cash in. We can see this in the increased volume of online casino advertisements and promotions this time of year.

But it’s not just internet sites looking to get a piece of the action. Thousands of Americans pour into Nevada to bet on games each March, and many casual fans also enjoy watching a game or two during their stay. So where to watch the big dance and/or place bets? Many casinos on the Vegas strip and elsewhere are holding special promotions to get basketball fans onto the casino floor.

Bookies market casino games to bettors

Online bookmakers are in heaven during March Madness. They get a double whammy: bettors are coming in droves to fill out brackets and place wagers on single games, bringing in direct betting revenue and providing a perfect opportunity to market their casino games.

• Each year March Madness causes a big spike in web traffic from both bettors and casual sports fans

• Online and land-based casinos try to capitalize on the excitement by running tons of promotions related to March Madness

• The Atlantis Las Vegas gives customers a chance to win free slot play and table game chips this March

Let’s take online sportsbook in Canada Bodog as an example. When you log on an advertisement for March Madness betting immediately flashes across the screen. Not that they really need to market NCAA basketball betting this time of year, because you probably went to the site for that specific purpose anyway.

Bodog uses March Madness to get you in the door, and then employs a time-tested technique to pique your interest in their casino games: beautiful, scantily-clad women. Bodog Casino and Bodog Poker both use sex appeal to get you to click on their links. Click on casino and you are taken to a full range of “instant play” games including blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and slots. And Bodog is just one of the countless sites using March Madness to pump up their quarterly profits.

There are tons of great online casino promotions. Every sportsbook under the sun features special moneyback promotions for bettors, including Bovada’s handing $100 free (which, of course, must be used to place wagers on the site) to anyone who wagers more than $500 on March Madness. And that’s just to name a few.

Brick-and-mortar casino promotions

It isn’t just online casinos plugging their services this March. Land-based establishments and American poker rooms also use America’s biggest betting event to get people onto the casino floor. Larry Flynt’s Hustler Casino in Los Angeles is inviting people to come in and watch the March Madness games for free. Here’s the catch: the games are shown in the blackjack room. You don’t have to play, but there is no doubt that Flynt is hoping that you will.

Loads of Nevada casinos are offering food and drink specials as well as free chip promotions to get people in the doors. Cheap beers, wings and burgers abound, but the best promotions offer free casino play to successful sports bettors. The Atlantis Casino hosted one of the best offers out there this March. From March 17th to March 20th anyone could saunter over to the sports kiosk to be assigned a team. Each time that team won, you won free slot play up to $200.

The Atlantis is also hosting a series of drawings giving players a chance to win free chips to use in the casino’s brilliant array of table games. Each time an upset game occurs the pit boss will award $100 in free chips to one lucky gambler. Baldini’s in Reno is also offering three separate free play drawings on each gameday. Combining cheap beer, food and the chance to win free play just for showing up and watching exciting March Madness games? You can sign us up.

Affiliate marketers jump on March Madness

A third way in which online casinos in the UK, Canada and the US look to boost their profits each March is by looking to their affiliates to cover March Madness. Sites like the one you are reading now are pumping out article after article about everything college basketball with the purpose of getting visitors to clink links to online casino sites. The student newspaper at the University of Maryland even features basketball articles linking to casino affiliate sites. Any affiliate marketer with half a brain knows that you have to cover hot stories to get web surfers interested and spending money. March Madness provides a perfect opportunity to do this.

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