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Sports Betting Operators Enjoy Record-Breaking March Madness

In the latest sports-betting industry report, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has found that over $8.5 billion was wagered by U.S citizens on college-basketball’s ‘March Madness’ tournament in 2019

This amount was a combination of bets taken by regulated land-based and online sportsbooks in the U.S as well as bets taken via international / offshore sportsbooks.

2021 brought with it a new dynamic for sports – due to COVID19, and due to the big changes in the U.S sports market – with major expansions in legal sports-betting having developed since 2019.

This year’s NCAA March Madness tournament has begun, but due to the global pandemic and for the first time in its history – the whole tournament is taking place in just one state – this year Indiana is the host.

68 college basketball teams compete in the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament, and the winner of 2021 March Madness is the last team standing.

March Madness Key Dates

  • Selection Sunday – March 14
  • First Four – March 16-17
  • First Round – March 18-19
  • Second Round – March 20-21
  • Sweet 16 – March 25-26
  • Elite Eight – March 27-28
  • Final Four – April 3
  • National Championship – Ail 5

The National Championship Final will play on April 5th at the Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

March Madness – Betting facts, figures and trends

The latest research and analysis has brought some interesting March Madness sports-betting estimates, facts and figures to light.

Three times as many Americans planned to wager on this year’s March madness via online sportsbooks compared to 2019.

The pandemic is unquestionably a factor in the huge increase of anticipated bettors, with 17.8 million people expected to gamble on March Madness this year compared with 5.8 million people in 2019.

Even so, 8.3 million bettors are expected to place a bet at a physical sportsbook, which is up 79% from 2019.

That figure is only expected to grow in the future with 45% of American adults now living in a state with legalized sports betting and more states opening up.

“We’ve seen a 200% increase in site searches related to March-Madness betting in 2021 – with sports fans looking for the latest odds & futures for the tournament”

-Tom Nielsen, CTO at sports odds website Vegas-odds.com

The dramatic growth in the popularity of sports-betting over the course of the last two years can be attributed to the expansion of the legal market, as 73.6 million more Americans in 14 new legal jurisdictions can legally place bets on March Madness this year compared to the 2019 tournament.

A March Madness tournament bracket might be great fun, but it’s worth looking at more traditional wagers at more realistic betting odds on the Money Line, Point Spread and Totals for those hoping to realistically win a few dollars.

There could be a big jump in traditional bets on this year’s tournament compared to 2019, with 30.6 million Americans expected to wager such bets, up from 17.8 million two years ago.

Other March-Madness facts & figures:

  • It is estimated that if all 50 U.S. states had legal online sports betting, sportsbooks would handle $15.2 billion in total wagers for March Madness alone, grossing about $1.2 billion of revenue.
  • 47.4 million American adults plan to bet on March Madness (that’s more than 20% of the population), about the same number that indicated they would bet on the tournament in 2019.
  • Interest in the tournament is up slightly from 2019 with 26% of Americans saying they are extremely or very interested in the tournament, compared to 23% two years ago.
  • 42% of fans said they followed college basketball more closely this season, with 70% of those following more closely attributing their increased attention to the increased availability of sports betting.

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