March Madness is kicking off, and from your office to the Oval Office, Americans are poised to bet more than ever before on the NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament.
The American Gambling Association, assisted by GfK Custom Research North America, estimates Americans will drop $US9 billion betting on the games.
According to the AGA, on average participants will bet on two brackets each at a cost of an average $US29 per bracket. Gamblers will wager $US2 billion on bracket pools themselves, but many more will likely wager much more on individual games, which is how the American Gambling Association arrives at its $US9 billion tally.
NCAA March Madness betting even outdraws the Super Bowl
The $US9 billion to be bet on this year’s tournament amounts to more than double what gamblers bet on the Super Bowl, which was closer to $US4 billion.
While some state legislatures grapple with the issue of legalizing professional and college sports gambling as another means of beefing up gaming revenue that otherwise goes to places like Nevada, betting has increasingly become acceptable within popular culture.
The survey says that 70 million participants will dive into March Madness pools this year, when the NCAA tournament kicks off next week. That’s more than voted for President Obama (66 million) in the 2012 elections, also more than voted for Mitt Romney (61 million).