March Madness is officially here. The NCAA Tournament officially tips off Tuesday and Wednesday with the First Four games.
This year’s tournament comes with plenty of parity. In a season in which there’s no consensus top team, the 2023 Madness is shaping up to be quite the roller-coaster. Iowa, Iowa State and Drake will represent the state in both the men’s and women’s brackets this year.
How could the three Iowa programs factor into the tournaments, and which Iowa casinos will give patrons a true March Madness experience?
Iowa, Iowa State and Drake teams secure March Madness bids
Iowa online sports betting could be brisk this March Madness. Iowans have at least 20 sportsbooks they can choose from to place Big Dance bets this year.
Selection Sunday officially locked in three men’s and three women’s basketball programs from Iowa.
The Iowa basketball teams secured a No. 8 seed on the men’s side and a No. 2 seed in the women’s tournament. The men will face No. 9 seed Auburn in the Midwest region. The Hawkeyes are scheduled to face the Tigers at 5:50 p.m. CST on Thursday, March 16. Iowa enters the tournament with a 19-13 record. The Iowa women (26-6) play No. 15 seed Southeastern Louisiana at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Iowa State men finished with an identical record to the Iowa men’s team. The Cyclones earned a 6th seed in the Midwest region. They will face either Pittsburgh or Mississippi State on Friday at 2:10 p.m. The Iowa State women (22-9) are seeded 5th and will take on 12th-seeded Toledo at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18.
Keep an eye on Drake, too. The Bulldogs (27-7) punched their men’s NCAA Tournament bid with a Missouri Valley Conference Championship win. As a result, Drake enters the tournament as a 12th seed. The Bulldogs’ first game in the Midwest region will come on Friday at 6:25 p.m. against fifth-seeded Miami. The Drake women (22-9) have a tough matchup against 5th-seeded Louisville at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Iowa casinos offer special March Madness events, promotions
Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs offers customers the chance to score free sportsbook bets when using their mychoice card in March.
The casino’s website says that if you bet $500 using your mychoice card, you’ll receive a $10 sportsbook bonus bet. Here’s a look at the different increments of this special offer:
- Bet $1,000, get $25 sportsbook bonus bet
- Wager $2,000, get $50 sportsbook bonus bet
- Bet $5,000, get $100 sportsbook bonus bet
Players must present their mychoice card or swipe it before placing a wager to qualify for the offer. Additionally, free sportsbook bets will be available starting April 12 until May 12.
Additionally, customers have a chance to win up to a $100 sports bet every Sunday and Tuesday in March. Earn 25 tier points on slots or table games and swipe your mychoice card to win various prizes.
Catfish Bend Casino
Burlington’s Catfish Bend Casino wants sports fans to get the most out of their March Madness experience. So, in turn, the casino will offer extended hours on its PointsBet Sportsbook on select days this month. On March 8-10, the betting counter will open at 10 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Then, from March 16-19 and March 23-25, it will open at 9 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.
In addition, Catfish Bend Casino offers $2.50 domestic beer drafts and $4 specialty draft beer during NCAA Tournament games.
Diamond Jo Dubuque & Diamond Jo Worth
The grand prize? Two tickets to next year’s NCAA basketball championship game in Arizona on April 8, 2024. Five winners from each Boyd Rewards property will win $500 cash and an entry into the drawing. Then on April 6, one of those winners will secure the grand prize.
For your free entry, simply swipe at any promotional kiosk. You can earn additional entries into the drawing for every one tier credit earned through FanDuel Sportsbook wagers. Those wagers must be placed between March 12 and April 3, and you must use your Boyd Rewards Card.
Grand Falls Casino Resort
Grand Falls’ Elite Sportsbook offers a special March Madness deal.
Bettors who wager at least $50 on college basketball will get 15% back in a bonus bet up to $20. It’s a great opportunity for bettors looking to expand their wagers this month.
Hard Rock Casino
The Sioux City casino sportsbook offers a great deal for first-time sports bettors looking to get into the action. Once you’ve downloaded the Hard Rock Sportsbook Iowa mobile app, simply deposit and wager. You’ll receive a bonus bet equal to the amount of your first bet, up to $250. Hard Rock’s website says that to cash in on this offer, your first wager must be -250 or lower.
The Lakeside Casino in Osceola offers a Slam Dunk Cash Hot Seat promotion each Saturday from 7-10 p.m. Two customers will win every half hour, the casino’s website says. Those winners will then select three basketballs to reveal cash prizes.
Des Moines’ closest casino offers a Slam Dunk Swipe & Win promotion every Saturday in March from noon to 8 p.m.
Simply swipe your rewards card at any kiosk on the second or fourth level, select the Slam Dunk Swipe & Win tile and reveal your prize.