An investigation from the American Gaming Association (AGA) has forecast that some 47 million punters will likely place a bet tied to this year’s edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Basketball bonanza:

The AGA used an official press release to declare that its analysis determined that interest in the 2019 version of the annual collegiate basketball competition, which is often colloquially referred to as ‘March Madness,’ will directly lead to approximately $8.5 billion being wagered via legal and illicit channels.

Illicit instruments:

The three-week basketball extravaganza is set to go underway from tomorrow and the AGA stated that this will result in nearly 18 million punters legally wagering some $3.9 billion using land-based and online sportsbooks or acquaintances. However, the trade group predicted that a further 7.6 million aficionados are likely set to utilize illegal means such as offshore sportsbetting domains or bookmakers to place their ‘March Madness’ bets.

PASPA progress:

Bill Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Gaming Association, explained that the coming extravaganza will be the first staged since May saw the United States Supreme Court invalidate the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had largely limited sportsbetting to casinos in Nevada. As such, he forecast that around 4.1 million punters are expected to get in on the basketball betting action using a legal app or sportsbook.

Miller’s statement read…

“During this year’s tournament, the first in post-PASPA America, sports fans are expected to bet 40% more than they did on this year’s Super Bowl. Unlike any other sporting event in the country, ‘March Madness’ attracts millions who fill out brackets, make casual bets with friends or wager at a legal sportsbook, which Americans can now do more than ever before.”

Widening availability:

The AGA detailed that Duke University leads the runners of those being fancied to win this year’s collegiate basketball title followed by the likes of Gonzaga University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Kentucky and the University of Virginia. It moreover proclaimed that eight American states currently offer sportsbetting aficionados the ability to place legal wagers while some 23 others are said to be investigating various measures that would see them join this club.

Miller’s statement read…

“These results indicate there’s still work to do to eradicate the vast illegal sportsbetting market in this country and we’re committed to ensuring sound policies are in place to protect consumers like the 47 million Americans who will bet on ‘March Madness’.”