As the 104th NFL season kicks off, it also brings the return of the biggest sports betting season of the year. This gives us an opportunity to examine consumer wagering trends and the state of the industry as legal U.S. sports betting expands to new markets and matures in existing markets.
Here are four numbers to know as we dive into the season.
A record 73.5 million American adults (28 percent) plan to place a wager on this year’s NFL season, according to recent American Gaming Association (AGA) survey data. Demonstrating the growing popularity of traditional sports wagering—as opposed to fantasy sports and other pools—49.5 million American adults (19 percent) expect to bet with an online operator, at a casino or with a bookie, up from 12 percent last year.
Moreover, AGA estimates show a remarkable 37 percent of NFL fans plan to wager on this year’s season. This enthusiasm shows the still-growing value of sports betting to fan engagement for the league, no doubt contributing to record league revenue in 2022 and likely in 2023 as well. Previous AGA research estimated that widely available legal sports betting in the U.S. could increase NFL revenue by $2.3 billion annually.
During the first week of the NFL season, geolocation company GeoComply identified 1 million location pings from residents attempting to use legal sportsbooks across six states without regulated mobile markets: Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina. The combined tax revenue these states are missing out on from not legalizing mobile sports betting: an estimated $320 million annually. Last year, legal sports betting generated $1.5 billion nationwide, funding critical public projects like education, infrastructure, youth sports and more.
Importantly, the expansion of legal wagering is also driving responsible sports betting education. Among sports bettors, 53 percent report seeing an increase in responsible gaming messaging over the past year. Along with industry efforts like AGA’s “Have a Game Plan. Bet Responsibly.” campaign, this increase also underscores the value of advertising in raising responsible gaming awareness.
Nationwide legal sports betting revenue stands at nearly $5.5 billion through July, according to AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker.
Already pacing 63 percent ahead of last year’s record revenue, trends in NFL betting point toward no slowdown for the sector as we observe what will undoubtedly be the biggest year yet for U.S. sports betting. What’s also certain: the gaming industry is ready for some football.