March Madness Gaming To Hit $8.5B, With The Money On Duke To Win The Chip
Monday, March 18, 2019 at 02:51PM in American Gaming Assn., March Madness, March Madness, NCAA, sporting betting, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

March 18, 2019: One tournament, 68 teams, three weeks, two semi-final games, one championship and some $8.5 billion in wagers.

Welcome to NCAA March Madness 2019.

The men’s Div. I Basketball Tournament begins March 19 with the First Four, also when people in America will start to bet $8.5 billion on this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, with 1-in-5 adults placing a bet, according to a new survey from the American Gaming Assn.

The tournament is so enticing that it even surpasses wagering around Super Bowl LIII.

This past February, some 22.7 million adults in America bet $6 billion on the outcome of the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, per AGA.

"During this year's tournament — the first in post-PASPA America (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court this past May) — sports fans are expected to bet 40% more than they did on this year's Super Bowl," Bill Miller, president and CEO for AGA, said via the Washington D.C.-based organization

"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."

According to AGA, 47 million adults in America will wager $8.5 billion on March Madness, with $4.6 billion betting on a collective 149 million brackets by more than 40 million people.

The plurality of bettors favors Duke (29%) to win, followed by Gonzaga (9%), North Carolina (8%), Kentucky (7%), Virginia (5%) and Michigan (5%).

National TV ad spend during March Madness in 2019 is forecast to top a record $1.36 billion, with the Top Ten advertisers potentially accounting for some $550 million, more than 40% of the total spend, according to Kantar Media, NY.

Since the Supreme Court's ruling in May 2018, more than $5.9 billion has been wagered in the eight states that currently have legal, regulated sports betting, according to AGA.

Those states are Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

That betting number will rise moving forward as sports betting legalization is currently being considered in 23 other states. (See AGA’s map here.)

"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."

According to AGA, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL could realize a combined $4.2 billion annually not just from legal, regulated sports betting, but from such related platforms as increased consumption of the leagues' products, revenue as a result of spending by betting operators and data providers, advertising, sponsorship revenue and data.

The NFL alone could realize $2.3 billion in increased annual revenue.

Annual revenues for MLB and the NBA have the potential to increase by $1.1 billion and $585 million, respectively, while the NHL could see an annual bump of $216 million.

Regarding March Madness, 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.

According to Miller, ”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.”

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