AGA estimates $3.1 billion in bets during March Madness

The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament will see 45 million Americans bet an estimated $3.1 billion, according to new American Gaming Association research.

The research found 20.9 million people will bet on the tournament outside of bracket contests—at a retail sportsbook, online, with a bookie or casually with friends, while 36.5 million will wager via a bracket contest or similar pool.

Bettors name Gonzaga (17%) as their favourite to win the tournament, followed by Duke (12%), and Kentucky (11%).

This year, for the first time in AGA tracking, Americans plan to spend a greater share (76%) of their betting budget through non-bracket channels, a 21% increase from 2021.

Bill Miller, AGA president, said: “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.”