The 2022 men’s March Madness tournament will likely be the biggest sports betting event in U.S. history.
According to estimates from PlayUSA, $3 billion is expected to be legally wagered during this year’s college basketball tournament, doubling totals from 2021.
“Wagering on March Madness typically dwarfs the Super Bowl, and this year the difference could be dramatic,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayUSA.com, wrote to MarketWatch in an email. “The high betting volume is a function of the NCAA Tournament’s popularity coupled with 67 games played over a condensed schedule of just a few weeks. Add in the proliferation of legalized sports betting across the U.S., and this year will easily shatter the record for the most bet-on event set last year by March Madness.”
The March Madness tournament is likely to surpass total amount wagered from this year’s Super Bowl, as The NCAA Tournament benefits from having several games to wager on, compared to the Super Bowl, which is a single game.
The total amount of money wagered on the 2022 Super Bowl is expected to surpass $1 billion, as states continue to release betting reports from the February’s game.
“For years, though, Nevada has counted on the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament as a prime opportunity to draw hordes of bettors to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks on the Strip,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayUSA.com, wrote to MarketWatch in an email. “Vegas will still draw huge crowds next week, but now roughly half of the country can get in on the action without ever leaving the couch.”
Since last year’s March Madness tournament, more U.S. states have legalized online sports betting. That includes New York, which set a monthly betting record in just its first three weeks of legal wagering in January.
A whopping 47 million Americans were estimated to place some kind of wager on last year’s tournament, according to the American Gaming Association, and that number will likely increase this year. Included in this number are illegal wagers made through offshore sportsbooks, bets paced with a local bookie, or bracket pools popular among friends and co-workers.
The news comes as many sports betting companies that are also publicly traded have seen their stock prices drop in recent months. DraftKings
stock is down more than 43% over the past three months, leading to the CEO tweeting that all people who sold his company’s would “regret that decision.”
Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, states have the legislative power to legalize sports betting. Here’s how to learn if sports betting is legal in your state.