The 2022 NCAA Tournament could be the first US sporting event to generate $3 billion in legal bets


LA VEGAS, March 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Legal bets on the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament could balloon to $3 billion this year to regulated American sportsbooks, according to PlayUSA screenings, a leading source for US gaming industry news, analysis and research. In fact, NCAA tournament-specific betting could triple the $1 billion in bets taken on last month’s Super Bowl LVI and leading the 2021 NCAA Tournament as the highest-bet sporting event in US history.

“Betting on March Madness typically eclipses the Super Bowl, and this year the difference could be dramatic,” said Eric Ramsay, analyst for “The high betting volume is a function of the popularity of the NCAA Tournament, coupled with 67 games played on a condensed schedule of just a few weeks. Add to that the proliferation of legalized sports betting across the United States, and this year will break easily. the record for the most bet event held last year by March Madness.” expects a range between $2.5 billion and $3 billion to bet on legal sportsbooks across the country. This will be a significant jump from PlayUSA’s estimate. $1.4 billion in bets placed on last year’s NCAA tournament.

The growth in NCAA tournament betting is a direct reflection of the growth of the US market, which has doubled in size over the past year with the launch of new markets and the expansion of existing markets.

Currently, sports betting is legal in 30 states and washington d.c. Of these, only Oregon completely bans betting on college sports, while a handful of states such as IllinoisNew Jersey and Virginia restrict betting on state college teams. Still, the 29 legal jurisdictions in the United States that allow college sports betting represent a population of nearly 163 million people, according to US Census Bureau estimates for 2021. In contrast, 116 million people lived in 21 legal jurisdictions in sports betting for last year’s NCAA. Tournament.

The 2020 tournament was cancelled, but in 2019 the tournament attracted around $440 million in betting when only seven states had legal sports betting.

“Sixty-seven games is a ton of inventory, even if all of those games are played under the banner of one event,” said Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for “For years, however, Nevada counted on the first weekend of the NCAA tournament as a prime opportunity to lure hordes of bettors to brick-and-mortar sports betting on the Strip. Vegas will still draw huge crowds next week, but now about half the country can get in on the action without ever leaving the couch.”

The three main markets for betting on NCAA tournaments, New York, New Jersey and Nevadashould draw roughly $400 million in the handle each. New york has become the largest sports betting market in the country since the launch of online sports betting in January. New Jersey dominated the United States last year. And Nevada will generate more retail bets than any other market by a wide margin.

Last year, all NCAA Tournament games were played in Indianaone of the largest legal sports betting markets in the United States. But with limited fans, the uptick in betting activity in the state has been muted.

This year, six tournament sites will be played in legal sports betting jurisdictions. This includes the Final Four of New Orleans, where sports betting was launched in January. Legions of traveling fans could boost betting in these places.

“This year will be significantly different from last year’s tournament,” Ramsey said. “Thousands of fans will come to the matches of Illinois, Indiana, LouisianaNew York and Pennsylvania, throughout the tournament. How much of a boost this will bring to local sportsbooks remains an open question. But it will make a difference.”

For more information on betting on NCAA tournaments, visit

About the PlayUSA Network:
The network and its state-focused branches are a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the regulated online gaming market in the United States.

Zack RoomCatena Media, [email protected]775-338-0745


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