‘March Madness Sports Betting Business’ | ORBITAL AFFAIRS

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The Rise of Women’s Basketball Betting in March Madness

As the NCAA’s 2024 Division 1 college basketball tournaments, known as “March Madness,” kick off, the excitement among fans and sports betting enthusiasts is palpable. This annual event not only draws in basketball enthusiasts but also sees a significant surge in wagering activities. The availability of online gambling and the expanding legalization of sports betting across states have contributed to the growth in the number and size of wagers placed on this prestigious sporting event.

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Projected Wagering Figures

Legal betting on this year’s “March Madness” NCAA basketball tournaments is projected to reach a staggering $2.7 billion, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). This figure excludes informal bets among friends, family, and office bracket pools, which were previously included in the AGA’s surveys on March Madness betting.

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AGA Vice President of Research, Dave Forman, highlighted the shift in betting habits, stating, “It wasn’t that long ago where, if you wanted to place a bet, you either had to go to the casino sportsbook in Nevada or participate in casual betting among friends. Online betting has driven a lot of new people into that legal market.”

Comparing Betting Trends

In 2023, 75% of fans placed their first bets on March Madness, indicating a growing interest in sports wagering. Last year, the AGA estimated that 68 million Americans would wager up to $15.5 billion on the tournament, with a significant portion opting for online wagers, traditional sportsbooks, or casual bets with friends.

For comparison, the NFL Super Bowl, known for attracting heavy bets, saw 50 million adults wagering $16 billion. This year, with the Super Bowl held in Las Vegas, the number of bettors surged to 68 million, with a total wager amount of $23.1 billion.

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Women’s Basketball Driving Growth

One notable factor contributing to the increased interest in March Madness betting is the rising popularity of women’s college basketball. Players like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese have captured the attention of fans and bettors alike, leading to a nearly threefold increase in bets placed on women’s college basketball compared to the previous year.

Stock analysts at Jefferies and Bank of America Securities have highlighted the potential for growth in the gaming industry, particularly in the U.S. market. Companies like DraftKings Inc., BetMGM, and PENN Entertainment Inc. are being closely watched for their performance during this period of heightened betting activity.


As March Madness unfolds and the excitement reaches its peak, the surge in wagering activities reflects the growing popularity of sports betting. The inclusion of women’s basketball in the mix has added a new dimension to the betting landscape, attracting a broader audience and driving significant growth in the industry.

With legal betting on the rise and more states embracing sports wagering, the future looks promising for both fans and investors in the sports betting sector. As the NCAA tournaments continue to captivate audiences, the synergy between basketball and betting is expected to fuel further growth and innovation in the years to come.

For more insights on sports betting and March Madness, visit Investopedia.

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