Madness! Americans expected to wager $9 + billion on NCAA tournament

Most of the gambling will be done illegally.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – What symbolizes the month of March? A leprechaun’s pot of gold? NCAA basketball?

For some, its both– and it all starts Tuesday, when players and fans alike are hoping  the, ‘Luck O’ the Irish’ is on their side.

The American Gaming Association expects fans to gamble $9.2 billion on this year’s NCAA March Madness tournament whether it be through office pools, Nevada sports books, or illegal bookies.

Its estimated that more than 70 million brackets will be filled out for this year’s tournament. To put that in perspective, 70 million brackets is likely more than the number of ballots any given candidate will receive during November’s presidential election. The closest anyone has ever gotten to receiving 70 million votes in an election was President Obama’s 68 million votes he took home in 2008.

Even Mr. President himself gets in on the March Madness… well, MADNESS.

Each year, President Obama fills out brackets on ESPN in the Oval Office ahead of the tournament, along with the estimated 40 million other people who fill out two on average, according to the AGA.

The average bet per bracket is just under $30. Of the $9.2 billion that is expected to be wagered this year, only about $260 million of that will be bet legally.

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