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One of the highlights of the sports gambler’s calendar is the NCAA’s Final Four basketball tournament, a yearly event that creates a phenomenon known as “March Madness” where even non-hoops fans are excited and willing to participate in all the ‘bracket festivities.’
And now that sports betting is legal in over thirty states in the U.S., the American Gaming Association is predicting a record turnout for this year’s March Madness tourney, including a $3.1 billion handle that would at least double last year’s total Final Four wagers placed.
American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller is confident that industry eyes will pop at the wagering numbers that the 2022 tournament will generate, saying:
There’s no doubt this year will generate the highest legal handle in March Madness history.
This would include those fans who enjoy bracket contests in which they fill out their winners to see how close their predictions come, as well as those placing mobile and online wagers using one of the many sportsbook options that are now available, and more importantly, legal.
With so many more ways to place bets now, this could be one of the biggest gambling events of the year.
In February, at least $1 billion worth of bets were placed on the NFL’s Super Bowl, though more were expected, a game where the Los Angeles Rams managed to beat the Cincinnati Bengals by a tight score of 23-20 in an exciting final matchup of the season.
But that could be peanuts compared to the record $3.1 billion handle predicted for this March Madness, with 45 million Americans expected to place some kind of wager on the 64-team bracket elimination tournament that culminates in a Final Four showdown.
According to industry experts, 36.5 million American bettors are expected to participate in March Madness bracket contests and an estimated 20.9 million Americans are projected to place bets in other ways by either using retail or mobile sportsbooks or local bookies to place their action.
The favorites so far? It breaks down like this:
And now placing legal March Madness bets could not be easier.
One factor that could help increase the March Madness handle is that six of the tournament sites in the Final Four tournament are located in jurisdictions where sports betting is now legal, which could help those totals surge, especially as the tournament progresses.
Thanks to the thirty U.S. states and the District of Columbia launching their own legal sports betting markets, at least 29 million more Americans will be able to place legal bets on this tournament that could not do so last year.
Keep in mind that Oregon does not allow resident punters to place bets on college games, and in Illinois, New Jersey, and Virginia it is still illegal to wager on in-state college teams, but chances are clever gamblers will figure out a way around those potential roadblocks.
Make sure to check out all the March Madness action being offered by your favorite sportsbooks and join in on the fun – good luck and win big!
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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