Vegas Odds Survey Projects over $6B in Wagers on March Madness 2023

Vegas Odds looked at the reasons why Americans are following the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament, why people are placing bets on the tournament, how they plan to do that, and the amounts they plan to spend.

The Majority of Americans Will Place Their March Madness Bets Online

The Vegas Odds survey found that over $6 billion are expected to be wagered on the tournament this year. The majority of Americans, about 62%, said they or someone they know will place a wager on March Madness 2023.

In terms of how people plan to place their wagers, the main part of respondents, over 52%, said they will place their bets online. 26% answered that they will do it through group brackets and 12% pointed to retail sportsbooks as their gambling choice.

The survey also found that 55% of respondents said they would have no interest in March Madness if it wasn’t for placing wagers on it. This underscores the significance of gambling in the popularity of the annual basketball tournament. This is further highlighted by the majority of bettors (62%) considering themselves to be casual bettors meaning they place bets only on major events.

The main reason for following March Madness, according to the survey, was being an active fan of a team (32%). The second major reason was gambling (29%). Other reasons included being an avid fan of college basketball in general (18%), and social/traditional reasons (21%).

The Majority of Bettors Plan to Place Bets under $50 on March Madness

Regarding the average size of wagers, 52% of respondents said they would place wagers up to $50, while 22% said they would wager between $50 and $250. 16% said they would place wagers between $250 and $500, and 8% said they would wager between $500 and $1,000. Only 2% of respondents stated that they would place wagers over $1,000.

When bettors were asked how they would spend their winnings, the majority of respondents (30%) said they would use their winnings on essential expenses and household bills, while 23% said they would put their winnings into savings. Only 15% said they would pay off debts, and 18% said they would use their winnings for non-essential spending.

Finally, when asked how winning money would impact their future gambling habits, the majority of respondents (52%) said there would be no notable impact, while 42% said they were likely to gamble more often.

Interestingly, when asked how their interest in March Madness would be affected if student-athletes were paid to play for their college, 66% of respondents said there would be no impact on their interest, while 22% said they would be more likely to watch and 12% said they would be less likely to watch.