Americans are expected to bet around $15.5 billion on the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year, according to the American Gaming Association, or AGA. That's more than the estimates in 2022 and 2019 combined.
The increase in wagers is attributed in part to the resurgence of bracket contests, according to the AGA. It's also due to the increased number of states that are legalizing sports betting and the expansion of legal online betting.
Three states -- Kansas, Massachusetts and Ohio-- have launched sports betting markets since last year's tournament, and Maryland started mobile sports betting, the AGA notes.
Sports betting is currently illegal in Missouri. Several bills aiming to legalize the market have made it out of committee during this legislative session, but there has yet to be any debate in either chamber.
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