Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

NCAA March Madness betting to top $10B, group says

NCAA March Madness betting to top $10B, group says

The vast majority of the billions of dollars bet on the 2018 NCAA "March Madness" men's basketball tournament will be wagered illegally, according to estimates from a leading industry group.

As the predicted amount of illegally bet money was announced, the American Gaming Association claimed that sports betting should be legalized across all states since this will prevent the capital from sinking into the murky waters of the illegal area.

The combined haul for betting on all NCAA men's basketball tournament game surpasses that of the Super Bowl, which is the largest single betting event of the year. Following the potential legalization of the gambling activity, all states will be able to regulate it as they deem appropriate in order to protect their players.

Aside from the question of whether or not sports gambling should be more widely legal, can we take a moment to consider how massive a sum $10 billion of total March Madness betting is? That includes 24 million who filled out basketball brackets pools and spent $2.6 billion on entry fees. Of that total, 97% will be bet via illegal sportsbooks and other illicit methods, compared to just $300 million through legal sportsbooks in Nevada.

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The AGA said that 10 percent of American adults, or almost 24 million people, reported spending almost $3 billion collectively in the past year on college basketball pools alone.

Officials said the U.S. Supreme Court would make a decision on New Jersey's challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) overreach in the coming months, potentially enabling an expansion of legalized sports betting.

The group also counted 48 pieces of sports betting legislation active in 18 state legislatures across the country as lawmakers anticipate a favorable Supreme Court ruling and prepare for the advent of legal sports betting.

In addition, it also estimated that USA nationals illegally bet approximately $150bn per year on sports, empowered by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), called a "a failed federal prohibition on single-game sports betting" in its statement.

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