Roughly 47 million American adults will bet up to $8.5 billion on the 2019 NCAA men's college basketball tournament, according to survey results released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) on Monday.
The survey, which was conducted by Morning Consult, also found that 40 million people will wager $4.6 billion over a collective 149 million brackets and that roughly 18 million people will place just under $4 billion in bets at a sportsbook, online, with a bookie, or with a friend.
"During this year's tournament – the first in post-PASPA America – sports fans are expected to bet 40% more than they did on this year's Super Bowl," said Bill Miller, AGA's president and chief executive officer in a press release. "Unlike any other sporting event in the country, March Madness attracts millions who fill out brackets, make casual bets with friends or wager at a legal sportsbook, which Americans can now do more than ever before."
Another key finding, however, is that the majority of Americans will be placing bets illegally as 2.4 million people will place bets with illegal bookies and 5.2 million Americans will be placing bets online through illegal, offshore sites.
"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," continued Miller.
Sports betting is currently legal in eight states and almost $6 billion has been bet since the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn PASPA in May 2018. Another 23 states are currently considering legalizing sports betting.
The survey sampled 11,002 adults across the USA between March 1-7, 2019. Interviews were conducted online and the AGA has defined bettors as "those who expect to place a bet online, with a bookie, with a casino sportsbook, casually with a friend or participate in a bracket contest."