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US – Americans will wager $8.5bn on March Madness

By - 19 March 2019

Americans will bet $8.5bn on this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, with 1-in-5 adults placing a bet, according to a new survey released today by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Key findings from the survey, conducted by Morning Consult, predict that 47 million American adults will wager $8.5bn on March Madness with $4.6bn will being bet on a collective 149m brackets by more than 40m people. Nearly 18m people will bet$3.9bn at a sportsbook, online, with a bookie or with a friend, 4.1m will place a bet at a casino sportsbook or using a legal app; 2.4m will bet illegally with a bookie; and 5.2m will bet online, likely at illegal offshore sites.

The plurality of bettors favours Duke (29 per cent) to win, followed by Gonzaga (nine per cent), North Carolina (eight per cent), Kentucky (seven per cent), Virginia (five per cent) and Michigan (five per cent).

“During this year’s tournament – the first in post-PASPA America – sports fans are expected to bet 40 per cent more than they did on this year’s Super Bowl,” said Bill Miller, AGA’s president and chief executive officer. “Unlike any other sporting event in the country, March Madness attracts millions who fill out brackets, make casual bets with friends or wager at a legal sportsbook, which Americans can now do more than ever before.”

Since the US Supreme Court’s ruling in May 2018, more than $5.9bn has been wagered in the now-eight states with legal, regulated sports betting, enabling consumer protections and generating valuable tax revenue for state, local and tribal governments across the country.

“These results indicate there’s still work to do to eradicate the vast illegal sports betting market in this country, and we’re committed to ensuring sound policies are in place to protect consumers, like the 47m Americans who will bet on March Madness,” continued Miller.

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