2018 NCAA Tournament: Estimated $10 billion to bet on March Madness

An estimated $10 billion will be bet by Americans on the NCAA Tournament this year, according to new estimates released by The American Gaming Association. Only three percent of it, however, is expected to be wagered legally.

Which means that approximately $300 million is expected to be wagered legally through sports books in Nevada, the only state currently to allow single-game wagering.

"Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we're turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball," Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said. "The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments."

The American Gaming Association estimates that gamblers illegaly wager at least $150 billion annually on sports, due in large part because of a failed federal prohibition on single-game sports betting the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. The act has charted new waters in wagering as gamblers use bookies, illegal offshore websites, or sports pools such as bracket pools in March Madness to quench their gambling thirsts.

It is also estimated that roughly two-thirds of states' laws make sports pools such as NCAA Tournament bracket pools illegal if money is involved. And yet, according to the Gaming Association, 10 percent of adults -- or roughly 24 million -- reported spending nearly $3 billion in the past year on basketball pools alone.

Wink of the CBS eye to Sports Illustrated.

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