March 13, 2023 3 min read


25% of Americans Adults Expected to Wager $15.5B on March Madness 2023

A quarter of all adult Americans are expected to place at least one wager on this year’s NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament

In 2023, March Madness will continue the tradition of being “America’s most wagered-on competition” as described by the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) president and chief executive officer Bill Miller. 

68 million Adult Americans Ready to Wager on March Madness 

According to data from a survey released by AGA, 68 million of all Americans of the legal age for gambling will wager $15.5 billion on this year’s much-anticipated tournament. As compared to last month’s Super Bowl wagering statistics, March Madness is expected to record 18 million more bettors. 

The same survey says that 56.3 million American adults are planning to take part in a bracket contest, while 21.5 million will stick to casual bets with friends. At the same time, 31 million Americans are likely to opt for classic sports via online platforms, retail sportsbooks, or bookmakers. 

When compared to the total bets placed on last month’s Super Bowl, March Madness bettors are expected to wager $500 million less on the upcoming tournament that will host 67 games over the course of three weeks.

The tournament has Kentucky as the number one choice to win the national title with 9% of expressed votes from the survey’s respondents, closely followed by Texas A&M with 8%, and Gonzaga, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Alabama with 6%.

What Is Driving the Rise in Bets on March Madness?

In short, a mix between the rebirth of bracket contests and the growth of legal forms of online betting has led to the rise in interest in the event that will begin with the First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, and will carry onto the 2023 Final Four event that will be held in Houston.

Three-fourths of American online bettors have also said that this year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I men’s basketball tournament will mark the first year when they will place their bets on it online. 

At the moment, 33 US states and Washington, D.C. now offer live and fully regulated sports betting markets. Three additional markets are waiting to be given the green light to launch.  Even more, close to 60% of all American adults reside in live, legal sports betting markets.

In the context of AGA’s “Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly.” campaign that wishes to promote responsible gaming by reuniting sports betting stakeholders, Miller issued a reminder to all Americans planning to get on the action to “have a game plan to bet responsibly.”

This should consist of planning a budget, familiarizing themselves with the odds, focusing on the social components of the March Madness tourney, and always choosing legal forms of gambling.  

The AGA survey was conducted by Morning Consult between March 1-March 3 and it was applied to a national sample consisting of 2,200 adults with a +/- 2 percent and a greater margin of error among subgroups. In a recent interview, Amelco’s director of trading Mark Hill expressed his opinion that this year’s tournament will “drive excellent turnover”. Similarly, BettorOff’s co-founder and chief executive officer Alex Dubin discussed the event that “pulls you in” no matter if you plan on participating or not.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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