AGA: March Madness Betting Set to Top $9 Billion This Year

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AGA March Madness Betting Set to Top 9 Billion This YearBasketball is bringing out big bets this year — literally.

With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament about to tip off, the American Gaming Association estimates in a new report that Americans will wager $9.2 billion on March Madness in 2016.

The number marks an increase from 2015, when fans and casual observers alike bet $9 billion, through office pools, Nevada sports books, illicit offshore sites and illegal bookies.

The AGA put the numbers into further perspective:

The total number of brackets Americans will complete – more than 70 million this year – will likely surpass the number of ballots voters cast for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or any other single presidential candidate in the November election. In 2012, 65 million Americans voted for President Obama while 61 million voted for Mitt Romney. No presidential candidate has ever received 70 million votes. (Obama came closest when he received 69 million votes in 2008.)

“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.”

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