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Sports BettingIndustry

PlayUSA: 2022 NCAA Tournament could generate $3bn in legal wagering

Legal wagering on the upcoming 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament could reach $3bn at regulated sportsbooks, according to PlayUSA.

ncaa wagering

The company, which focuses on news, analysis and research on the US gaming industry, says that tournament specific wagering could triple the nearly $1bn in wagers taken in on February’s Super Bowl LVI. It could also top the 2021 NCAA Tournament as the most bet-on sporting event in US history.

It is expected that between $2.5bn and $3bn could be wagered across the country, a significant increase from the estimated $1.4bn placed on last year’s NCAA Tournament. Such growth, according to PlayUSA.com, is a direct reflection of the growth in the US market, which has doubled in size over the last year.

“Wagering on March Madness typically dwarfs the Super Bowl, and this year the difference could be dramatic,” said Eric Ramsey, Analyst for PlayUSA.com. “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 legalised sports betting across the US, and this year will easily shatter the record for the most bet-on event set last year by March Madness.”

The 2020 tournament was cancelled, but the 2019 edition reported an estimated $440m in bets, despite just seven states having legal sports betting.

“Sixty-seven games is a ton of inventory, even if all those games are played under the banner of a single event,” said Dustin Gouker, Lead Analyst for PlayUSA.com. 

“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. 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.”

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