On March 13, 2017, the American Gaming Association (“AGA”) released an estimate that Americans will wager $10.4 Billion on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Compared to last year’s estimated $9.2 billion, this number reflects a 13 percent increase. However, according to the AGA, only about $295 million of the $10.4 billion, or 3 percent, will be wagered legally through Nevada sports books. The AGA states that the remaining $10.1 billion will funnel through offshore websites or through bookies.
“The federal ban on sports betting is an utter failure – depriving states of vital tax revenues and preventing millions of fans from wagering legally on games,” said Geoff Freeman, AGA President and CEO. “It’s time for Washington to get out of the way and enable states to reap the rewards of a regulated sports betting marketplace.”
Since the passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) in 1992, the AGA states that Americans have bet at least $150 billion annually on illegal sports betting but believes that regulation can create a transparent marketplace wherein data is instantly analyzed and scrutinized in order to detect any potential wrongdoing. Though due to the adoption of PASPA, the $10.1 billion that will be wagered illegally will be done so without data analysis.
According to the AGA, each year ahead of the tournament:
· 40 million people fill out roughly 70 million brackets;
· Average person completes nearly two brackets;
· Average bet per bracket totals $29;
· Half of all March Madness viewers have filled out a bracket at least once in their lifetime; and
· Research shows those who fill out brackets online or through mobile applications are more likely to watch March Madness games.
Fans interested in helping to lift the federal ban on sports betting can learn more at SportsBettingInAmerica.com.