According to estimates by sports betting experts, the annual college basketball tournament in March, which is called March Madness, will have about 10 billion USD in gambling money. Much of this money is illegal or informal. That is one of the reasons why the Gambling Association wants to legalize and officially regulate sports betting.
In the last three years, the money from the March Madness betting has brought a tremendous amount of money to the US economy. In 2017, there were 10.4 billion USD in gambling in the US, with most of the funds appearing outside Nevada’s legal sports betting market. That’s according to information from the American Game Association (AGA), the leading group of the casino industry at Capitol Hill. The association said the figure of 10.4 billion dollars is up 13% compared to 9.2 billion dollars in 2016.
At the end of 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that a New Jersey law would permit betting to be limited to four states of Delaware, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and the legalization of sports betting nationwide. This measure could give the governments of many states lacking funds the opportunity to increase income. According to the AGA, in 2018, 54 million adults (a quarter of Americans) spent 18 billion USD to participate in sports betting, including 24 million people spent 2.6 billion USD on March Madness Betting NJ.
In the United States, about two-thirds of states consider it illegal to spend sports betting. Geoff Freeman, the president of the AGA, said that the current rules are not in line with reality and have turned tens of millions of people into criminals just because of college basketball betting. He said only about 3% of the 10 billion USD predicted officially recorded through Nevada bookmakers.
Last year, only about 295 million USD (3%) were legally wagered through Nevada’s betting facilities. AGA says the remaining 10.1 billion USD is used on illegal foreign websites or via betting facilities. According to the annual M88 statistics, Americans bet about 150 billion dollars for sports, and almost all of them are from outside Nevada.
How did AGA reach 150 billion USD? AGA made the most conservative estimate of illegal sports betting activity from the report in 1999 of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (80 billion USD a year). And then, AGA used the GDP growth rate reported by the Census Bureau to present the current figures to date.
For 10.4 billion USD, AGA considers that the rate of legal gambling activities in March Madness in Nevada is the best indicator that can show the rate that can dominate the illegal market. And this association has applied this ratio to a more extensive form of unlawful gambling.
Geoff Freeman, the CEO of AGA, said: “The federal ban on sports betting is a complete failure, taking away important state tax revenues and preventing millions. Fans may not bet legally. It is time for the government to overcome and allow states to reap the rewards from the adjusted sports betting market”. Therefore, efforts are being made to reform sports betting laws across the United States.