I'll betcha five bucks you can't guess how much money was bet on the Super Bowl this year. Double or nothing: How much do Americans wager on March Madness annually?
Sports betting is big money, and a bid by New Jersey to get a piece of the action is easily understood when you consider some of these numbers:
According to the Nevada Gaming Commission, $3.2 billion was wagered in sports bets in the state’s casinos in 2011. Of that amount, $1.34 billion or 41 percent was handled just for football.
Sports fans bet a record $98.9 million at Nevada casinos on Super Bowl XLVII, according to the American Gaming Association. After paying out to bettors, Nevada sports books earned $7.2 million on 2013’s game.
Extrapolating from Nevada data, the financial planning website Mint estimates that more than $8 billion is wagered every year on the Super Bowl alone. An estimated 200 million people making wagers on the outcome of the game worldwide.
Thirty-three million Americans participate in fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. The FSTA found that $1.18 billion changes hands between players through pools each year.
The FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on the three-week March Madness postseason tournament each year, according to the AGA.
As much as 25 percent of illegal wagers placed on college basketball games each year comes during March Madness, according to CNBC.
Sports book operators estimate $80 million to $90 million — less than 4 percent of the illegal take — is wagered on the NCAA tournament legally through Nevada’s 216 sports books, says the AGA.
One in 10 Americans play March Madness brackets according the data-processing website, wagersolutions.com.
If each game in the tournament were a true toss-up, that would mean your chance of filling out a perfect tournament bracket is a mere one in two to the 63rd power, or one in nine quintillion, according to USA Today.
This story was originally published on Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:16 AM EDT