According to a survey from the American Gaming Association, fewer brackets will be filled out for the NCAA Tournament this year. However, the figures also showed that the same number of people will be making bets on March Madness as usually do.
The AGA predicts that more than 47 million Americans are planning to make bets on the NCAA Tournament. That's roughly the same number of people that said they had planned to place bets for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Of course, the NCAA Tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey also reveals that 36.7 million American plan to fill out a bracket, which is an 8 percent decrease from 2019. Part of the reason for the lower numbers are that many offices remain closed and employees are working remotely meaning fewer office pools.
However, Americans are legally able to bet in a much large capacity than in previous years as a result of many states legalizing sports betting. The American Gaming Association also believes that 30.6 million Americans will bet on the NCAA Tournament in some form or fashion, which is up from 17.8 million people the last time March Madness took place in 2019.
The survey also revealed that 17.8 million will place an online bet on a sportsbook, which is a 206 percent increase from 5.8 million in 2019. 8.3 million Americans are expected to place wagers at physical sportsbook locations, which is up 79 percent from 2019 figures. The survey was conducted by Morning Consult earlier in March and sampled 2,000 Americans. Bettors include those who expect to place a bet online, with a bookie, with a casino sportsbook, casually with a friend or participate in a bracket contest.
"I think it's going to be very heavily bet," William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said of this year's tournament. "Just look at how much betting is up as a general matter, and layer on top of that the fact that we didn't have it last year. There's unquestionably a lot of pent-up demand. In many ways it's a signal that America is coming back. Beyond the sports betting aspect, it flows into the whole COVID recovery story."
Basketball fans can place bets with William Hill in 16 states.
The American Gaming Association also showed that Gonzaga is the public's pick to win the NCAA Tournament with 17 percent of the future wagers. Florida State is receiving 11 percent of the bets while Baylor is garnering 8 percent.