March Madness will again highlight US ‘passion for betting’

March Madness will again highlight US ‘passion for betting’

Monday, March 14, 2016 Totally Gaming
The AGA said that just a fraction of the billions wagered will be placed legally

More than $9.2bn (€8.3bn) is expected to be wagered in the US on this month’s ‘March Madness’ basketball tournament, according to research published by the American Gambling Association (AGA).

The group said that figure is up on the $9.0bn wagered in 2015, with gambling taking place through office pools, Nevada sports books, illicit offshore sites and illegal bookmakers.

The AGA said that just $262m – around 2.8 per cent – would be gambled legally due to betting being illegal in most of the US.

“Americans’ passion for betting fuels the unmatched popularity of ‘March Madness’,” said Geoff Freeman, AGA president and chief executive.

“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.”

The AGA last September said it expected $93bn (€82bn) to be wagered illegally during the NFL American football season as it described US prohibition as “failing”.

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