The “March Madness” NCAA basketball tournament may have propelled the US to its first $10 billion monthly sports betting handle. That total would surpass January 2022’s record $9.82 billion in wagers. Data indicates that nearly a third of US adults planned to bet on the tournament and two-thirds said they’d be spending more than ever before. Several states that have already released data for March betting are reporting double-digit growth versus February and the prior year period.
New York just legalized sports betting in January, but has already cleared $1.6 billion of wagers in multiple months. California is likely to be even bigger business for sportsbooks and multiple proposals are working their way onto the November ballot in the state. While an initiative to legalize sports betting in the Golden State is not a sure thing, all five states that have previously undertaken ballot measures to deregulate sports betting voted to approve.
Related ETF: Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (BETZ)
Now that the NCAA basketball tournament, more commonly known as “March Madness” has wrapped up, data on state betting handles from across the nation are beginning to roll in, giving us a clearer picture of how sports gambling continues to develop in the US.
Fox Business reports more than 29 million more American adults could legally wager in their home state this year versus when the tournament kicked off last year, with Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming having launched new legal sports betting markets in the intermediate. 33 states (plus Washington DC) have legalized sports betting since the US Supreme Court’s 2018 decision that rescinded a prohibition on sports betting in most places across the nation.
Per the American Gaming Association (AGA), about 45 million Americans planned to wager a record $3.1 billion on this year’s NCAA Men’s Division I tournament. One of the big transformations taking place in sports betting continues to be the shift to online sportsbooks. This year, Forbes notes that the majority of the money bet during March Madness was projected to have been wagered through mobile apps and websites. That trend also upended the customary “bracket” style of betting. The amount of money gamblers say they’re going bet through brackets is down nearly 70% this year compared to 2021.
Those findings were echoed by data from National Research Group, which conducted a survey about halfway through the tournament. Results showed 60% of survey respondents who bet on the 2022 NCAA tournament did not fill out a bracket. The survey also notes that 54% of respondents are less interested in March Madness brackets due to legalized online sports betting.
Along with many Americans now permanently working from home and no longer taking part in office brackets, declining interest in March Madness brackets is also reflective of a much wider array of options afforded by sports betting apps. Brackets only offer one long-shot means of winning (correctly identifying every winner of all 67 tournament games), but betting on individual games or certain stats, outcomes, etc. within games presents many more chances to win.
As SportsHandle highlights, almost a third of Americans between the ages of 21-64 bet on this year’s tournament. Among that group…
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