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October 20, 2017

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Downtown Las Vegas casino owner bets $352,000 on March Madness

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Tom Donoghue

Derek Stevens appears onstage for a Boston concert Friday, July 15, 2016, at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, which he owns.

March Madness is here, and casino owner and sports bettor Derek Stevens is at it again.

Two years ago, Stevens, owner of The D Las Vegas, came two wins shy of winning $1 million after he placed a $20,000 bet on Michigan State to win the NCAA Championship when the Spartans were 50-to-1 long shots.

On Sunday, Stevens wasted no time when the brackets were announced, betting $11,000 on each of the 32 opening round games in the NCAA Tournament. That’s $352,000 wagered for a possible maximum payout of $320,000.

Stevens made the wagers at the South Point live on the set of the Vegas Stats and Information Network show on Sirius XM radio.

Stevens was partial to underdogs, betting on 19 of them in the first round, with the biggest being Texas Southern at plus-25 against North Carolina. The game where he laid the most points was Gonzaga at minus-22 against South Dakota State.

In 2015, Stevens hedged his Michigan State bet, placing $49,000 on Duke to beat Michigan State in the Final Four matchup. Duke crushed the Spartans 81-61 and Stevens walked away with $20,000.

With 32 individual bets this year, there will be no hedging for Stevens.

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