2019 March Madness Betting Expected to Take in $8.5 Billion

Written by:
Mary Montgomery
Published on:
Mar/18/2019

$50 million Americans are expected to bet $8.5 billion on this year's March Madness.

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This will be the first March Madness since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 federal law that banned sports wagering in all but a handful of states.  Nevada was among the exceptions and has benefitted immensely during the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament as well as the Super Bowl, widely believed to be the busiest weekend in Las Vegas.

Much of the bets will still be placed with offshore sites as well as local bookmakers.

Even in New Jersey, which has now licensed around a dozen online sportsbooks, most college age adults will be unable to bet on the March Madness games with any of these sites.  NJ-licensed sites require gamblers to be 21 or older.  International sites allow those 18 and up.

Worse still perhaps, New Jersey residents will be unable to bet on their home state teams in this year's Big Dance.  Fairleigh Dickinson plays Prairie View A&M Tuesday for a chance to play number one seed Gonzaga.  Seton Hall entered this year's Tournament as a number 10 seed and facing off against Wofford.

Last year, 97 percent of the estimated $10 billion wagered on March Madness was bet with offshore companies and local bookies, none of which are licensed by US agenies.  The rest, a mere 3 percent, was wagered in Vegas.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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