- March Madness was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Multiples states launched legal sports betting markets in 2020.
- Super Bowl 55 was the most wagered on Super Bowl in history.
INDIANAPOLIS – This year’s March Madness Tournament has the potential to be the most wagered on the tournament in history.
College basketball sports betting fans were unable to place action on the NCAA Men and Women’s Basketball Tournament as the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The tournament returns this year and there are more regulated sports betting markets than ever. Potentially the 2021 March Madness tournament could have the biggest betting handle ever.
College basketball betting fans in several markets wouldn’t have been able to wager during the eventually canceled 2020 tournament.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down not only major sporting leagues like the NCAA but also local business’ as well. The loss of statewide revenue has motivated new states to launch their own regulated markets for added revenue.
Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and Montana for example are regulated sports betting markets that launched in 2020 and will be taking in their first Mach Madness bets this year. On top of that, Virginia and Michigan both launched online sportsbooks last month. All of these legal sports betting markets have thrived. With March Madness coming along, they are sure to see a heavy influx of wagers coming in as well.
The newly regulated markets will definitely boost the total in betting activity. In addition, players who were unable to wager last year will be able to scratch that itch during the upcoming tournament. These factors can be used to infer the potential boom in wagers come March. The NCAA Tournament has always been a major ticket at legal sports betting sites and retail sportsbooks.
March Madness History Of High Betting Handles
March Madness is the most wagered on sporting event in the US outside of the Super Bowl. Even the Big Game, who is the most wagered on single-game event, doesn’t rake in as many bets in total as the March Madness tournament in total.
Every game is a one and done situation, which lends itself to constant underdog wins. This makes the March madness tournament the perfect place for longshot bettors.
On average, 40 million Americans bet on the tournament according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). Over $4.6 billion were bet on the tournament in 2019 where less than 15 states offered regulated sports betting.
According to a study produced by Eilers & Krejcik gaming analysts, if all 50 US states offering regulated sports betting, then the betting handle for March Madness would surpass $15.2 billion with $1.2 billion collected in revenue.
The tournament this year will have the most active sports betting market in history behind it, and if one looks at how the Super Bowl benefited from the new regulated operations, it can give an indication of how large the handle will be for March Madness.
The AGA reported 23.2 million Americans participated in Super Bowl betting this year, setting a record betting handle of $4.3 billion.
As stated before, this was the most wagered on Super Bowl in history mainly due to all the new markets that launched. March Madness could potentially eclipse this number, with even more wagers happening during the duration of the tournament. Sportsbooks advertised heavy surrounding the Big Game, and it is expected that similar promotions would be pushed for March Madness betting.
March Madness 2021 Projections
🚨 NET UPDATE 🚨
7. Ohio State
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 12, 2021
With the past success of the March Madness tournament in terms of legal sports betting, and the Super Bowl managing to break several records, March Madness may clear $5 billion in wagers.
This is all speculation, but the tournament has never had this many regulated markets available for wagering before. With more states offering legal sports betting than ever before, the upcoming tournament is expected to set all-new record highs in 2021.
The future for March Madness betting is a bright one.
Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.