(Daily Montanan) For the second year in a row, nearly $3 million was bet in Montana on the men’s and women’s NCAA March Madness tournaments, with 2022 seeing slightly lower numbers.
The two tournaments saw $2,891,042 worth of bets in 2022, with $2.75 million bet on the men’s tournament and $136,692 bet on the women’s. The average bet placed on the men’s tournament was $24.33 compared to $26.02 on the women’s tournament.
The total sports betting handle for Montana in March was $3.98 million, with 87% of bets placed on basketball. And the state paid out $3.31 million for the month.
While less was bet this year, Montana had to pay out more money to bettors — $2.3 million this year compared to $1.9 million in 2021.
And bettors also favored betting on the men’s national championship game to the women’s, $153,459 was bet on the men’s matchup between North Carolina and Kansas and just $24,163 was bet on the women’s matchup between the University of Connecticut and the University of South Carolina.
The Montana Lottery attributed the slight decrease in wagers to the economy.
“All the markets offered were similar to last year for both men’s and women’s basketball. But just like what we are seeing with other products, the economy can affect our products and we believe that is the case with women’s basketball wagers being down 4.9% in 2022,” a lottery spokesperson said via email.
Montana launched its sports betting platform — Sportsbet MT — in March of 2020 and is one of 30 states and Washington, D.C., to currently offer sports betting.
A survey from the American Gaming Association predicted that 17% of U.S. adults, around 45 million people, would wager $3.1 billion on the 2022 men’s March Madness Tournament — the largest number in the tournament’s history.