A quarter of American adults (68 million) plan to wager $15.5 billion this year NCAA The men’s Division I basketball tournament, according to a new survey by the American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s top lobbying group.
Sports betting is live and legal in over 30 states.
Thirty-one million American adults plan to place a traditional sports bet online, at a retail bookmaker or with a bookmaker, with 21.5 million planning to bet casually with friends and 56.3 million planning to participate in a race at groups.
“March Madness is one of the best traditions in American sports and America’s most wagered competition,” he said AG extension President and CEO Bill Miller. “Critically, the expansion of regulated sports betting over the past five years has brought safeguards to more than half of American adults who can now legally bet in their home market.”
March Madness betting growth is driven by a resurgence in bracket racing and Americans taking advantage of the expansion of legal online betting. Three-quarters of online bettors say this will be their first time betting on March Madness online.
While 18 million more American adults plan to bet on March Madness than last month’s Super Bowl, Americans are expected to wager half a billion dollars less on the tournament than they had planned to wager on the Big Game.
Since last year’s tournament, Kansas, Massachusetts and Ohio have launched retail and mobile sports betting markets, while Maryland has launched mobile betting. With 67 games in three weeks, this year’s March Madness will be the first to feature Las Vegas as a regional location.
Among bettors, Kentucky is the most popular choice to win the national title (9%), followed by Texas A&M (8%) and Gonzaga, UCLA and Alabama (6%).
Morning Consult conducted the online survey on behalf of the AG extension between 1 and 3 March on a national sample of 2,200 adults. The margin of error is +/- 2%.