After a challenging 2020, the 2021 College Basketball Tournament was an exciting spectacle for basketball fans across the U.S. and a triumph after the coronavirus prematurely ended the previous tournament. Not only was the 2021 tournament a success for college basketball, but it also served as a massive rebound for sports betting and commercial gaming as pandemic mandates relaxed. According to data from the American Gaming Association (AGA), physical sportsbook betting on the Men’s College Basketball Championship was up 79% in 2021, and online sports betting was up a staggering 206% during the same period.
In 2021, Statista.com estimated that 36 million people would fill out a tournament bracket, and the AGA estimated that 47 million people would place some sort of bet on the games held throughout the month. Numbers for 2022 have not come out yet, but the increase in sports betting over the past year suggests that these would likely increase.
Sports betting has exploded in popularity over the last several years. According to the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, 2021 was the greatest year for sports betting in history. Total sports betting revenue reached $4.29 billion in 2021. If the current trend continues, casinos will want to capitalize on major sports events like the college basketball tournament, which begins March 15. By working with Global Payments Gaming Solutions, casino operators can provide their customers with an exciting sports betting experience.
Global Payments Gaming Solutions’ iGaming solutions utilize ACH guaranteed services that enable patrons to electronically fund their bets and access their winnings in real time. VIP Lightspeed® powers Global Payments’ iGaming solutions, and Global Payments’ e-check network, VIP Preferred®, connects directly to patrons’ bank accounts to enable easy funding.
Following the tournament’s conclusion, even more sports betting opportunities are still to come in 2022. Between the NBA Playoffs, the MLB World Series and the beginning of the next NFL season, there are abundant opportunities for casino operators to take advantage of sports betting’s immense popularity. Global Payments Gaming Solutions offers online and land-based casinos a modern and robust payment system, so they can make the most of each major sports event.
This March is also Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). Established and organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the organization increases public awareness of problem gambling and expanding access to prevention, treatment & recovery services. During this busy season of sports betting, Global Payments is also committed to promoting responsible gaming. 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. Global Payments also implements responsible gaming features in its products like configurable pre-set spending limits and cooling-off periods.
Click here to learn more about how Global Payments can strengthen your sports betting programs.