68 million American adults, a quarter of the total number of American adults, intend to bet $15.5 billion on the 2023 NCAA Men Division I Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness, according to the latest survey by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

The tournament will feature 67 games and will be the first in which Las Vegas will host a regional.

What is March Madness?

March Madness is an informal term that refers to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments that start every March and consist of fields of 64 (for the women’s) and 68 (for the men’s) teams.

It’s a very important tradition in American sports and a really big deal among American sports fans.

To participate in March Madness, fans must fill out a bracket. The Bracket Challenge Game, also known as the official NCAA bracket game, will begin immediately after the commission reports the field on Selection Sunday.

Brackets will be locked before the first game of the first round starts and fans should enter their choices before then.

However, no one manages to complete a flawless bracket, but that only adds to the challenge.

Commenting on the meaning of March Madness, Bill Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AGA, said: “March Madness is one of the best traditions in American sports—and America’s most wagered-on competition. 

“Critically, the expansion of regulated sports betting over the past five years has brought safeguards to more than half of American adults who can now bet legally in their home market.”

March Madness Betting Increase:

The surge in March Madness wagering has been fueled by the renewal of bracket competition and Americans taking advantage of the spread of legalized online betting.

Since the 2022 tournament, Kansas, Massachusetts and Ohio have officially introduced retail and mobile sports wagering markets, while Maryland debuted mobile betting.

The following is in support of these previous statements:

  • 33 states and Washington D.C., currently have live, legalized sports wagering markets, with three extra legal markets pending official debut;
  • Over half of American adults (57%, which is roughly 146 million) live in a live, legalized sports wagering market;
  • AGA’s Have A Game Plan. ® Bet Responsibly.™ campaign is gathering together all sports wagering stakeholders to promote responsible gaming.

In this regard, Mr. Miller added: “With the excitement around March Madness, the AGA and our members want to remind anyone getting in on the action to have a game plan to bet responsibly. That means setting a budget, knowing the odds, keeping it social and always playing legally.”

Betting growth compared to the Super Bowl:

Although 18 million additional bettors intend to bet on March Madness compared to Super Bowl, which took place last month, Americans are projected to put half a billion dollars less into the tournament than they intended to bet on the Big Game.

In support of this statement, follows the following:

  • 31 million American adults intend to place a traditional sports bet online, at a retail sportsbook or with a bookie;
  • 21,5 million intend to wager casually with friends;
  • 56,3 million intend to partake in a bracket competition.

However among bookies, Kentucky holds the top spot and has the best chance of winning the national title (9%). After Kentucky, Texas A&M and Gonzaga hold second place (8%) and UCLA and Alabama third (6%).