AGA: Americans Will Wager $8.5 Billion on March Madness

Mar 18, 2019 11:23 AM EDT

$8.5 billion.

That’s how much the American Gaming Association estimates will be bet in the United States on March Madness.

The study, conducted by Morning Consult, and released Monday by the AGA projects that 47 million American adults will put down some money on the tournament.

More than half the money ($4.6 billion) will be wagered on 149 million brackets, with 18 million people making specific game bets with a sportsbook, bookie or friend.

Of the total amount of bets made on games, the survey reflects that 7.6 million people will bet illegally, whether it’s with a bookie or online at offshore sites, while 4.1 million will bet legally in one of the eight states where betting is legal.

The AGA’s total projections of $8.5 billion dropped from $10 billion last year, but executives said that was because this year was a more comprehensive study and a better number, with 11,000 adults across the nation interviewed.

“More than two times the amount of people will bet on March Madness compared to the Super Bowl,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the AGA. “And those people will wager 40 percent more.”

Miller said the two states where filling out a bracket was most popular were, not surprisingly, Kentucky (28%) and Kansas (25%).

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