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March Madness betting in the US

17 March 2022

Tens of millions of sports gamblers will be betting on March Madness games and brackets. Plus, if you're heading to Las Vegas, we know where you should be enjoying the March Madness betting watch parties.

However, not everyone should be gambling on sports or betting on March Madness.

Spring is almost here, and so is March Madness betting. In fact, 45 million Americans are expected to bet on March Madness and drop a staggering $3 billion in wagers. Part of the reason for this is obviously the fact that sports betting regulation continues to spread across America, with nearly 30 million additional adults allowed to legally bet on March Madness this year over last. It’s expected that almost $21 million will be bet on “outside of bracket” contests either online, in person, or between friends.

The vast majority of betting on March Madness, however, will be on the tournament brackets. As estimated 36 million people will participate in a bracket contest or pool. Most are picking Gonzaga to win, followed closely by Duke University. The President of the AGA, Bill Miller, stated that “Americans continue to make it clear: they want to wager with the protections of the legal, regulated market. There’s no doubt this year will generate the highest legal handle in March Madness history”.

Morning Consult conducted an online survey about March Madness betting on behalf of the AGA between 26-27 February to gather this data. The data from the calls consists of a national sample of 2,210 adults and was weighted to an approximate target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Bettors include those who expect to bet on NCAA Basketball online, with a bookie, with a casino sportsbook, casually with family or friends or as part of bracket contest.