The American Gaming Association is anticipating that 47.4m Americans will wager on this month’s March Madness, representing a similar figure to those that indicated they would bet on the tournament in 2019.

The projection comes from an AGA commissioned, and Morning Consult undertaken, survey among a national sample of 2,200 adults, with a significant shift in how people plan to bet reported.

Bracket betting is expected to decline but more traditional sports bets placed online or at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are expected to more than double. 

“The sports betting landscape has changed dramatically since 2019 – and as a result, tournament betting has transformed,” stated Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO

“As consumers formerly limited to bracket contests now enjoy access to legal sportsbook options, they also plan to place traditional sports bets as March Madness returns.”

Key findings from the survey indicate that 36.7m Americans will fill out a bracket, down eight per cent from 2019, with 30.6m to place more traditional bets, up from 17.8m two years ago.

It was also founded that 17.8 million will place a bet online, up 206 per cent from 5.8m in 2019; and 8.3m will place a bet at a physical sportsbook, up 79 per cent.

Interest in the tournament is said to have slightly increased from 2019, with 26 per cent of those surveyed saying they are extremely or very interested in the tournament, compared to 23 per cent two years ago.

Furthermore, 42 per cent of fans said they followed college basketball more closely this season, with 70 per cent of those attributing this either somewhat or very significantly to the increased availability of legal sports betting.

Gonzaga University is the betting public’s favourite to win the tournament with a 17 per cent favourability, followed by Florida State University (11 per cent) and Baylor University (8 per cent).

“With more legal, regulated sports betting options than ever before, millions of customers now have safer ways to enjoy all the fun and suspense only March Madness provides,” added Miller.