AGA March Madness Research Rollout

Dear Gaming Colleague:
This week, the AGA released our annual estimate on how much Americans will wager on March Madness, again topping $10 billion this year. Due to the failed Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a staggering 97 percent of total wagers will be bet illegally across the United States.
That leaves only three percent, or $300 million, of March Madness bets that are expected to be legally wagered through licensed sports books in Nevada.

This year, in addition to our annual wagering estimate, the AGA commissioned an analysis of the legality of sports pools. According to the analysis, roughly two-thirds of states’ laws make it illegal to participate in sports pools, including filling out an NCAA tournament bracket, if there is money involved. Despite this, 10 percent of American adults, or nearly 24 million people, reported spending nearly $3 billion in the past year on college basketball pools alone.
As I mentioned in our press call on Monday, one of the key findings of this research was that the federal government doesn’t own a monopoly on bad sports betting policy. Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we’re turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball.
But there is hope. 18 state legislatures are preparing for a modernization of federal sports betting statutes, introducing their own laws to be prepared for a favorable court ruling. Late last week, West Virginia became the first state in 2018 to enact such legislation, and by all measures, it is a very solid law. There is work to do on the proposed New York language that is being considered in committee this week, and in other states as well, as we move through legislative calendars around the country.
While there will be a lot of negotiation about what a legal framework looks like, we all agree on this fundamental goal: we need to drive the illegal market out of business. AGA is focused on working with all stakeholders to accomplish this goal and enable a safe, legal way for American consumers to participate in next year’s office pool without fear of prosecution. The Supreme Court will make a decision on New Jersey’s challenge to PASPA’s overreach in the coming months, and we are prepared to quickly engage state and federal influencers in each possible outcome.
Below please find a sample of the significant amount of national news coverage that AGA’s announcement generated. We will continue to keep you apprised of any developments.

Geoff Freeman
President and CEO
American Gaming Association 
AGA Earned Media Coverage on March Madness 2018 and Failed Federal Prohibition on Sports Betting

CNBC’s Squawk Box highlighted AGA’s estimate, as well as the upcoming Supreme Court decision. Watch the clip here.