First Weekend of March Madness a Success - 8 News NOW

First Weekend of March Madness a Success

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LAS VEGAS -- The first weekend of March Madness is came to a close and experts say it's a boom to the Las Vegas economy.

Visitors are spending money, watching the games, and placing bets in sports books. In fact, March is the biggest month of the year for tourism in the city.

This month brings about 3.5 million people into Las Vegas every year. Many coming for one reason. More money is wagered on the NCAA Tournament than the Super Bowl. It is madness.

"We have 300 seats in the sportsbook, but we also add another 1500 seats in out theater," said Jay Kornegay, VP of Race & Sportsbook Operations at LVH. "Over the last three days that has been standing room only."

The total handle for March Madness is around $130 million. Robin Vircsik put 5 bucks down on the buckeyes, but gambling isn't why she likes the tournament.

"I think it's absolutely fabulous. The food is great, the people are friendly," Vircsik said.

She's a kindergarten teacher in Las Vegas with a few days off for spring break, and says her favorite part is tourists.

"I love March Madness because it's kind of like the Olympics. You have people from all different places coming together to talk about sports."

March sees almost 500,000 more visitors than February, many of them coming for basketball and everything else Las Vegas has to offer.

"I'm actually staying at the Golden Nugget," said George Janes from Virginia. "Did about three days of golf, been here almost a week, doing ok, I spent about $500, nothing terrible."

His brother Bill from Pennsylvania is also enjoying March Madness. "I probably irritated some Kansas fans a couple nights ago, but other than that it's been nuts. There are just tons of people, lots of sports fans, clearly.

Vircsik says if so many people come to her city to getaway, they might be onto something.

"I'm celebrating March Madness all week."

She'll save her money, and have just as good a time.

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