With the Men's College Basketball Championship starting next week, millions of avid college basketball fans will gather to watch which school's team will bring home championship glory. Part of the annual tournament's appeal is seeing who has the best bracket and the unpredictability of where teams end up in the final rankings. According to a study from Statista, average viewership from the 2022 tournament was around 10.7 million people, a 13% increase from the previous year. As viewership increases, there will be plenty of eyeballs on this year's tournament.
There are a multitude of factors that play into the popularity of the Men's College Basketball Championship. For one, fans have a genuine connection to the teams because of school pride, and there is a bit more of an emotional investment. Sports betting during this tournament is also an interesting beast, as not only are people gambling on the games, but even the brackets themselves have become their mode of sports betting.
The appeal of sports betting comes from the excitement and added stakes to the game, and with the resounding success of the industry in 2022, things are going strong for a while. A statistic in AGA's Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker from last year revealed that nationwide sports betting revenue skyrocketed 72.9% from $4.34 billion in 2021 to $7.5 billion in 2022. The increased access to legal gambling outlets has undoubtedly led to this massive surge. However, since many avenues exist to place sports bets for the tournament, it's more important than ever to practice safe, reliable, and responsible gaming.
As March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, public awareness and expanded access to problem gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery services are vital. Global Payments is a proud partner of the AGA's "Have A Game Plan. ® Bet Responsibly™." public service campaign, which provides responsible gaming practices and resources. Pavilion Payments also implements responsible gaming features in its products, like configurable pre-set spending limits and cooling-off periods.
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