March Madness could generate $3 billion in bets from 45 million Americans

The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently reported that more than 17% of American adults plan to bet $3.1 billion on this year’s NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness.

About 45 million people in the US responded that they plan to bet on the event, 20.9 million expect to bet on the tournament outside of bracket matches, i.e. at a bookmaker, online or casually with friends.

While 36.5 million Americans will gamble through a draw contest or similar system. This year, the trend points to a greater share of betting through unsupported channels.

As of 2021, an additional 29 million American adults can legally place wagers in their state, with Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming launching new legal sports betting markets. Currently, 30 states and Washington DC offer legal live sports betting, and another 11 states have legislation in place or in the works to legalize the practice.

AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said of the latest survey results: “Americans continue to make it clear: they want to gamble with the protections of the legal and regulated market. There is no doubt that this year will generate the largest legal revenue in the history of March Madness.”

Sports betting prediction for March Madness 2022

Punters name Gonzaga (17%) as their favorite team to win the tournament, followed by Duke (12%) and Kentucky (11%). The online survey was conducted between February 26 and 27, among a national sample of 2,210 adults.

Punters include those hoping to place a bet online, with a physical bookmaker, with an online betting platform and casino, casually with family or friends, or as part of a draw.

“There is nothing more exciting in sports than the magic of March Madness. If you’re taking action, have your game plan in place to gamble responsibly. That means setting a budget, keeping it fun, learning the odds, and playing legally,” added Miller.

The results come after the AGA reported via its Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker that the sportsbook and iGaming verticals continued to expand in January, with double- and triple-digit growth compared to 2021 and 2020, respectively. Together, iGaming and sports betting revenues accounted for 21.1% of total commercial gaming revenue in January.

A busy sports calendar, the first full month of retail betting in Maryland, and the start of mobile betting in Louisiana and New York set a new record in legal sports betting activity. Nationwide, sports betting reached $8.41 billion, nearly doubling year-over-year numbers and 11.3% above the previous record set in October 2021.