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Pennsylvania’s sports betting rises amid March Madness

The Associated Press
FILE - In this April 1, 2017, file photo, a fan holds tickets as he arrives at University of Phoenix Stadium before the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, in Glendale, Ariz. The spate of arrests, the details of under-the-table bribes to teenagers and the expected downfall of one of the sport’s best-known coaches has triggered uncomfortable soul searching among universities that run the nation’s most prominent college basketball programs. At stake is the future of a business that, over the span of 22 years ending in 2032, will produce $19.6 billion in TV money for the NCAA Tournament, known to the public, simply, as March Madness.(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

HARRISBURG – Sports betting leaped by almost one-third in Pennsylvania’s fourth full month, as more venues opened amid March Madness.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Monday that gamblers bet a record $44.5 million in March at six casinos and two off-track betting parlors where sports betting is approved. That was above $31.5 million bet in February, which had three fewer days.

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh led with almost $12 million in bets. SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia was second with just over $9 million and Parx Casino in suburban Philadelphia was third with $8 million. The casinos made $5.5 million, while $2 million went to taxes.

For comparison, New Jersey’s casino and racetrack-based sports books handled $372 million in bets in March, amid a blizzard of bets from college basketball fans.