Report: March Madness All About Big Bets

The American Gaming Association reports that college basketball's biggest month is going to drive about $9 billion in bets on games—around $2 billion of which will come from brackets.

If you have a March Madness office pool happening this year, don’t feel bad if you do poorly: 40 million people will fill out a bracket, and not everyone can be a winner.

The American Gaming Association (AGA), which represents the gambling industry, released new research this week on the scope of betting around the NCAA college basketball tournament. “Sports betting has played a major role in making March Madness the big-time event it is today,” AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a news release.

Freeman noted that basketball bracketologists even outnumber the voters who supported the president at the polls in 2012.

“With more people filling out brackets than casting a ballot for President Obama—who makes his NCAA predictions in the Oval Office each year—it’s clear that Americans embrace gaming,” Freeman said.

The AGA study, conducted by GfK Custom Research North America, found the following:

Most people do more than one bracket. Nearly 40 million people take part in the annual tradition, but roughly 70 million brackets get filled out every year.

Betting will be pretty massive. For every bracket submitted, the average person will bet around $29. And the games themselves drive significant bets. In Nevada alone, for example, sports bookies will likely accept $240 million in bets on the tournament.

Many people who watch the tournament have done a bracket. The study also found that half of all viewers of March Madness games have done brackets at least once in their lifetime.

So who’s at the top of your bracket this year? Let us know in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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