Nearly 68 million Americans expected to wager on March Madness

A growing number of sports fans plan to try their luck betting on the NCAA’s annual March Madness college basketball tournament, which began this week.

About 68 million Americans will bet on games, up from 45 million in 2022, according to the American Gaming Association. prediction. Of that number, 31 million plan to bet online, at a sportsbook or with a bookie, while 1.5 million plan to bet casually with friends, it found. About 56 Americans plan to fill out a bracket. Alabama, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Texas A&M and UCLA are the favorites to win this year. But the AGA expects total bets on the tournament to drop to $15.5 billion from $16 billion a year ago.

The Gaming Association drew its estimates from an online survey of 2,200 adults conducted earlier this month. In comparison, an estimated 50 million placed some kind of bet on Super Bowl LVII in February, according to the association.

The trade group said the increase in people gambling on March Madness was due to more states legalizing online sports betting since last year’s competition. Sports gambling is now legal for more than half of all American adults, says Bill Miller, president of US Gaming. said In a statement

Legal in 33 states

Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts and Ohio have legalized online sports betting in the past year, bringing the total to 33 states nationwide and Washington, D.C., four years earlier since 2018. Betting on sports was legalized. US Supreme Court decision Repealed federal law banning gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports. According to the Gaming Association, states where sports betting is legal have reported millions of dollars in additional tax revenue Data.

In a decades-old tradition surrounding March Madness, Americans fill out brackets as they try to predict which team will emerge as the champion from a three-week gauntlet of 67 televised games. Fans usually compete for cash prizes organized by their employer through office pools or friendly wagers with family and friends.

WNBA superstar A’ja Wilson encourages filling out the men’s and women’s NCAA brackets


DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook have emerged as heavyweights in the world of sports gambling, which is on track to become a $167 billion industry by 2029, according to Data Bridge Market. research.

“Whoever fills out the bracket should have fun, look at each team and pick with their head,” Jay Ginsbach, a senior sports betting analyst at Forbes SportsMoney, told CBS News.

It almost goes without saying that anyone who bets this year is bound to lose money. Employers may also be losers: The tournament will cost companies more than $17 billion in total productivity costs as workers attend the games, executive recruiting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated this week.

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