AGA Report: 18% of American Adults Expected to Bet on the NFL this Season

A recent report released by the American Gaming Association expects 46.6 million Americans to bet on the NFL this season, with the expansion of legal sports betting seeing fewer NFL fans using an unregulated operator.

Last Updated: Sep 7, 2022 3:24 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
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With the NFL season kicking off tomorrow, 31 states (plus D.C.) currently offer legal sports betting (with five more expected to go live in the near future), and the American Gaming Association expects 46.6 million Americans to get involved in some football betting action this season.

A report released by the AGA this morning said of those intended NFL bettors, 23 million plan to place a bet with an online sportsbook, up 18% from 2021, while six million Americans intend to place a bet at a retail location (a 2% YoY increase). 

"The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country," said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller.

Of the states that do not have any concrete legislation plans in place, only five of them currently house an NFL team: California, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, and Florida (which is complicated).

Kansas, while not technically home to a pro team, is essentially next door to the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals and recently has launched sports betting — while Ohio will launch on January 1 and Maryland is trying to go live before the NFL season ends.

Since September 2021, 18 million more American adults can legally bet on sports in their home state, bringing the total to 132 million potential bettors.

Drop in unregulated betting

The online survey commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA) shows that as legal options become available, bettors move away from unregulated sportsbooks — and that those living in states without sports betting are 50% more likely to use a bookie this NFL season.

But overall, the percentage of NFL bettors using a bookie has dropped over the past three years: from 18% in 2020 to 15% in 2021... and 13% this season.

Of those who bet on the NFL last year, 89% say it is important to use a regulated operator.

"Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility," Miller added. 

Rise in awareness

The NFL season begins during Responsible Gaming Education Month and the AGA noted that 92% of U.S. bettors are aware of responsible gaming tools, with 90% seeing/hearing about responsible gaming this past year.

Not only that, but 82% of bettors believe that these programs are either "somewhat" or "very" effective.

"Responsibility is an underpinning of regulated U.S. sports betting and a clear competitive advantage as we continue to build a sustainable marketplace," Miller said.

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