Could Lifted Gambling Ban Help Move The NCAA Tournament To Las Vegas?
The lifted sports gambling ban will temporarily allow NCAA Tournament events in the state of Nevada
The NCAA Tournament may be coming to Las Vegas or Reno
The NCAA announced Thursday that it has lifted its previous ban on hosting NCAA Tournament games in states that allow sports wagering.
“To ensure integrity in sport, the NCAA supports a federal model addressing legalized gambling and has suspended its championship host policy related to sports wagering,” the NCAA said in a statement.
Previously, NCAA Tournament games were not allowed to be played in the state of Nevada due to the NCAA’s rules. The Mountain West’s men’s and women’s basketball championship events have been hosted in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center since 2007, however.
Las Vegas expects to immediately contend for an NCAA Tournament hosting bid in the coming years. The Thomas & Mack Center is widely regarded as one of the nation’s best arenas, seating 18,000 people. Only 14 collegiate arenas have a larger seating capacity. The amenities of Las Vegas will also be another major draw for fans and media.
Nevada’s Lawlor Events Center in Reno could also see some NCAA Tournament games in the near future. At 11,536 seats, Lawlor ranks as the 63rd-largest arena in college basketball.
Last April, the NCAA announced NCAA Tournament sites for 2019 through 2022. The earliest either Las Vegas or Reno could host tournament games is the 2023 season.