News

Americans Will Wager $8.5 Billion on March Madness

47 Million People Plan to Place Bets on NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
Press Release
March 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – Americans plan to wager $8.5 billion on this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, with 1-in-5 adults placing a bet, according to a new surveyreleased today by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Key findings from the survey, conducted by Morning Consult, include:

  • 47 million American adults will wager $8.5 billion on March Madness;
  • $4.6 billion will be wagered on a collective 149 million brackets by more than 40 million people;
  • Nearly 18 million people will wager $3.9 billion at a sportsbook, online, with a bookie or with a friend;
    • 4.1 million will place a bet at a casino sportsbook or using a legal app;
    • 2.4 million will bet illegally with a bookie; and
    • 5.2 million will bet online, likely at illegal offshore sites.
  • The plurality of bettors favors Duke (29%) to win, followed by Gonzaga (9%), North Carolina (8%), Kentucky (7%), Virginia (5%) and Michigan (5%).

“During this year’s tournament – the first in post-PASPA America – sports fans are expected to bet 40% 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 U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in May 2018, more than $5.9 billion 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 47 million Americans who will bet on March Madness,” continued Miller.

Sports betting legalization is currently being considered in 23 states across the country.

Methodology
This survey was conducted on behalf of the AGA by Morning Consult between March 1-7, 2019, among a national sample of 11,002 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. The margin of error is +/- 1% and greater among subgroups. Bettors include those who expect to place a bet online, with a bookie, with a casino sportsbook, casually with a friend or participate in a bracket contest.

About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.

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press release contact
Caroline Ponseti

(202) 552-2675