According to a newly commissioned Nielsen Research Report released on April 1, 2016, Americans who complete brackets spend 86 more minutes, or 21% more time, watching the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament than non-bracket participants. Other main points of the research include the finding that avid fans who use popular mobile apps to follow their brackets spent nearly 40% more time watching March Madness, fans who visited bracket sites watched nearly 20% more March Madness games than the non-bracket audience, and 33% more women who visit bracket sites tune into March Madness than women who do not.

Importantly, the American Gaming Association, which commissioned the study, estimates that approximately 40 million Americans will wager $2 billion on more than 70 million brackets.  Though, it is estimated that $9.2 billion will be bet on March Madness overall - a staggering 97% of which will be done illegally with current law largely banning sports betting in the U.S. outside of Nevada.

"Greater engagement in March Madness - on which Americans bet billions of dollars - significantly increases viewership of the NCAA tournament," said Geoff Freeman, AGA President and CEO. "Despite the current federal prohibition of sports betting, we would expect a similar trend to exist in all sports - the more invested, the more viewership, creating lucrative opportunities for advertisers and broadcasters alike."

The illegal sports betting market is already large and continues to grow.  According to recent research conducted by EY, if the sports betting ban was lifted across the rest of  the United States, approximately 29 million new bettors would generate an additional $32 billion per year in wagering activity. Currently, New Jersey is waging the largest battle on the issue, hoping that its 2014 law allowing sports betting will be able to take effect.

For a complete copy of the research please visit: https://www.americangaming.org/sites/default/files/American%20Gaming%20Association%20-%202015%20NCAA%20Tournament%20Viewership%20Analysis_Cut%20Back%20Version.pdf




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