2021 NCAA Tournament Survey: Bracket Interest Decreases, Betting Increases for March Madness

2021 NCAA Tournament Survey: Bracket Interest Decreases, Betting Increases for March Madness article feature image
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Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NCAA Tournament Bracket

Approximately 22 percent of American adults will be betting on March Madness this year, but fewer will be doing so by filling out brackets.

That’s from the results of a new survey published Sunday by the American Gaming Association, which had Morning Consult ask 2,200 people about their habits and weighted to the general population.

More than 47 million Americans would wager on the tournament, which was similar to the number in 2019, the last year there was a tournament. The difference was that eight percent fewer people said they would be filling out brackets, undoubtedly a result of being out of the workplace. 

That was counterbalanced by a 71 percent increase in the amount of people who said they would place a traditional bet, thanks to the further legalization of sports betting across America.

Twenty-five states, and Washington D.C. have legalized sports betting, with 21 of those markets operational.

In some markets, you cannot bet on the state’s college teams. New Jersey residents can’t bet on Rutgers, people in Virginia won’t be able to bet on the Cavaliers or the Hokies and Illinois sportsbooks can’t offer wagering on Illinois or Loyola. 

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