Here we are in basketball’s biggest weeks. By Tuesday night there were over nine million people who had submitted their bracket with all of their choices. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament which starts this week will inspire 47 million Americans to wager $8.5 billion according to Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association.
More money will change hands during a few weeks of the tournament than the total value of goods produced, and service provided in the nation of Haiti in an entire year. Nearly twice as many people bet on the tournament known as March Madness than they do for the Super Bowl. “Americans like to bet on sports, and Americans do bet on sports,” Miller says adding that a survey shows only 4.1 million of those gamblers place bets legally with casino sports books in Nevada or the 7 states that have legalized sports betting since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that makes it possible. Anyone in Illinois or in the other states without legal sports booking, and who plunks down $5 and fills out a bracket predicting the outcome for all 64 teams in an office pool or with their friends is breaking the law, although arrests seem to be nonexistent.