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Americans look to bet $8.5-billion on March Madness

2019 March Madness Bracket/provided by Heather Starr/WOWO

NATIONAL (WOWO) – According to a survey released by the American Gaming Association, 47 million American Adults plan to wager $8.5-billion on this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship tournament, commonly referred to as “March Madness.”

$4.6-billion of that will be wagered by more than 40-million people on 149-million brackets.  Around 18-million people will bet $3.9-billion online, with a bookie or friend or at a sportsbook. Of those 18-million people, 4.1-million will be at a casino sportsbook or using a legal application, 2.4-million will be betting illegally with a bookie, and 5.2-million will bet online, most likely at illegal offshore sites.

According to the survey, 29% of the bets favor Duke to win, 9% favor Gonzaga, 8% favor North Carolina, 7% for Kentucky and 5% for Virginia and Michigan.

Bill Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Gaming Association, said: “During this year’s tournament, sports fans are expected to bet 40% more than they did on this year’s super bowl.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in May 2018, more than $5.9-billion have been wagered in the now eight states with legal and regulated sports betting, which now allows those states to have consumer protections and tax revenue for state, local and tribal governments in the country.

“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,” Miller says.

Currently, 23 states across the country are considering the legalization of sports betting. A measure to allow it in Indiana has passed in the Senate but has met less enthusiasm in the House.

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