Bet on it: NCAA tourney opens with billions of dollars wagered

Photo: AP

(WLNS) – With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament opening today the American Gaming Association is estimating $10.4 billion will be bet by Americans.

And only about 3 percent of that is legal.

That’s still a lot of money, $295 million, that will be bet in Nevada sports books, the only place sports bets can legally be placed.

The rest of the bets, according to the AGA, will be made on offshore websites or through bookies.

In 1992 a Federal law was passed banning sports betting outside of Nevada.

That ban had done little to slow sports betting.

This year it is estimated that 40 million people will fill out about 70 million NCAA tourney brackets.

The average bet on a bracket will be $29.

The American Gaming Association is supporting an effort to lift the federal ban on sports betting.

The group claims regulated sports betting could lead to more transparency among betting, generate tax revenue and create jobs for local communities.

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