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AGA: Americans Wagering $9.2 Billon On March Madness This Year

Figure Includes Brackets, NV Sports Books And Illegal Market

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Americans will place $9.2 billon in wagers on this year’s NCAA March Madness tournament, the American Gaming Association said in a press release this week.

Of that figure, $262 million will be bet at regulated and licensed sports books in Nevada, according to the AGA, the casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill.

The AGA previously announced that the total illegal sports betting market in the United States grew to $148.8 billion in 2015.

“Americans’ passion for betting fuels the unmatched popularity of March Madness,” said Geoff Freeman, AGA president and CEO. “Betting increasingly drives sports fans—and even casual observers—to invest in the tournament, offering further evidence that sports betting is the new national pastime. It’s time for a fresh, rational approach to sports betting that reflects this reality.”

Current federal law limits sports betting to just a few states. Some states, most notably New Jersey, have challenged the 1992 law in court.

The AGA also said that more than 70 million brackets will be filled out in America, with an average bet for a bracket being around $30. The rest of the total comes from legal Nevada sports books, illicit offshore sites and illegal bookies, according to the AGA.