In the United States and the American Gaming Association (AGA) trade group has forecast that over 47 million people are likely to place wagers tied to this year’s edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The advocacy group used an official Sunday press release to detail that the 2021 version of the collegiate basketball competition, which is colloquially known as ‘March Madness’, is set to kick off from Thursday and see 68 teams battle it out in hopes of being crowned as the nation’s top program. This single-elimination extravaganza was not held last year owing to the coronavirus pandemic while its latest edition is to be missing several perennial powerhouses including the likes of the University of Louisville, Duke University and the University of Kentucky.

Static situation:

Even with this depleted pool of runners and the AGA explained that a recent survey it commissioned found that approximately 47.4 million adult Americans still intend to wager on the coming basketball tournament, which is about the same number as placed bets tied to the 2019 edition. The organization revealed that the online poll of 2,200 people conducted by Morning Consult between March 3 and 5 had also determined that online and physical sportsbook betting will likely grow dramatically to make up for an expected drop in bracket contest participation.

Proliferating pool:

The AGA pronounced that its survey determined that some 30.6 million aficionados will likely lodge a traditional ‘March Madness’ flutter, which would represent a rise of around 72% when compared with 2019 and more than make up for an expected 8% drop to about 36.7 million in the number of those filling out a bracket. The lobby group moreover stated that this dramatic growth is largely down to the fact that some form of sports wagering has become legal in 13 jurisdictions over the course of the last two years so as to bring roughly 65.4 million more potential punters into the sportsbetting fold.

Climbing captivation:

As to where these customers will be lodging their bets and the AGA declared that its investigation found that around 17.8 million intend to use an online service, which would equate to a swell of 206% year-on-year, while more traditional land-based sportsbooks are in line for a 79% boost in punter numbers to roughly 8.3 million. The enterprise divulged that this comes after it uncovered a three percent surge to 26% in the number of Americans who admitted to being ‘extremely or very interested in the tournament.’

Satisfying shift:

Bill Miller serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the AGA and he used the press release to proclaim that the sportsbetting landscape of the United States has ‘changed dramatically since 2019’ and that this, in turn, had transformed ‘March Madness’ wagering. He additionally disclosed that the rising tide of legalization has given ‘millions of customers’ the ability to increase ‘the fun and suspense’ provided by the annual collegiate basketball extravaganza.

Read a statement from Miller…

“As consumers formerly limited to bracket contests now enjoy access to legal sportsbook options, they also plan to place traditional sports bets as ‘March Madness’ returns.”