BetMGM Aiming To Keep Bracket Contests Alive For Michiganders

Written By Derek Helling on March 15, 2021

A recent report from the American Gaming Association suggests as interest in Michigan sports betting rises, the number of brackets that Michiganders fill out for March Madness might decline. The BetMGM bracket contest offers two million reasons for sports fans in the state to do both.

Although it’s an astronomically tall order, BetMGM will give out $2 million to a person who fills out a perfect bracket for the 2021 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. Should no one achieve the feat, there are other ways to win.

Details of the BetMGM bracket contest

The best part of the contest: There’s no entry fee. Simply visit BetMGM online and either register or sign in to your existing account. Then, fill out your bracket. If you happen to predict all games correctly from Friday’s first round onward, you’ll get at least a share of the $2 million grand prize.

This a pool game, so if more than one person somehow has a perfect bracket, they’ll split the top prize. In the likely scenario of no one completing a flawless bracket, then the most accurate entry gets a share of $100,000. Again, similar entries will split that prize if necessary.

If you’re new to BetMGM Sportsbook, don’t make your first deposit without taking advantage of its welcome offer. This coming weekend is going to be a perfect time to use bonus funds. Both Michigan‘s and Michigan State‘s men’s basketball teams are playing in the tournament.

Is BetMGM just feeling hoops hysteria and giving away money for no reason? No, there’s definitely a method to this March madness. The company also recently made a move that should get Wolverines fans’ attention.

A (Jalen) Rose by any other name …

Jalen Rose, who ran the hardwood for the Michigan men’s team from 1991-94, is the newest BetMGM celebrity spokesperson. Known for being part of the Wolverines’ “Fab Five” before his 13-season NBA career, Rose has since spent a lot of time in the media spotlight.

BetMGM will feature Rose in its marketing campaigns and bettor events. That means you might see and hear him on radio, social media, and TV representing BetMGM. MGM Resorts’ M Life Rewards members will get access to in-person and virtual events with him in attendance as well.

“The excitement around sports and the growth of sports betting, and BetMGM in particular, this year has been special to witness,” Rose said in a news release. “I’m beyond excited to go from a spectator to a player joining the BetMGM team, continuing to defy industry expectations.”

Rose’s face should be instantly recognizable for basketball fans in MI, but will that mean more action on BetMGM’s gambling platforms? And will the bracket contest drive traffic that way?

Breaking down BetMGM’s game plan

The point of both bringing Rose on board and offering the free contest is driving up account registration numbers. That goes not only for MI, but all of the markets in which BetMGM operates. It’s a common play for gambling companies.

For the bracket challenge, however, there’s an interesting dynamic. The AGA says that its research shows that fewer people plan to fill out brackets this year, compared with 2019. The trade association expects that activity to be down about 8% in 2021.

The report doesn’t explicitly say that fewer brackets will lead to more people placing traditional sports bets instead. However, it does suggest that people who are betting on the tournament will place more wagers this year than they did in 2019.

With no cost to participate in the bracket pool, getting in on that action won’t eat into your gambling bankroll. Free-to-play contests might be the evolution of bracket games, now that legal sports betting has come to Michigan and other states.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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