Super Bowl wagering at sports betting sites and among friends will once again break records this year due in no small part to the ongoing expansion of legal bookmaking, recent research suggests.
The findings of the annual survey of Super Bowl betting intentions by the American Gaming Association (AGA) were released on Tuesday, and the industry group says an all-time high of 50.4 million American adults expect to wager on the Big Game, up 61% from 2022.
Bettors plan on wagering an estimated $16 billion on the National Football League's championship contest as well, which is more than double what they intended to spend on the event last year, the AGA noted.
The AGA also said the expansion of legal sports betting in the U.S. is behind another first, as "traditional" Super Bowl wagering with sportsbooks and bookies this year is expected to surpass "casual" wagering with friends.
Sports betting legalization is also driving fan interest in the #NFL, with more than a third (34%) of NFL fans saying the expansion of legal sports betting has made watching an NFL game more exciting. pic.twitter.com/6nN8K2jFwe— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) February 7, 2023
While 28 million adults are projected to play in a pool or squares contest for the Super Bowl, up 50% from 2022, 30 million intend to wager at online sports betting sites or a retail sportsbook, up 66% from last year, the AGA’s research suggests.
“Every year, the Super Bowl serves to highlight the benefits of legal sports betting: bettors are transitioning to the protections of the regulated market, leagues and sports media are seeing increased engagement, and legal operators are driving needed tax revenue to states across the country,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a press release.
The latest findings from the AGA highlight the growth of the legal sports betting industry in the U.S. and underscore the importance of the Super Bowl for operators. With more people than ever expected to bet the Big Game in the U.S., bookmakers can snag even more customers, including in newly opened states such as Ohio and the recently launched mobile-wagering market in Maryland.
The amount of money on the line at legitimate books could reach a new high this year as well. An AGA estimate of the legal sports wagering handle for 2022 was $950 million, up from $159 million in 2018, the year the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for more states to launch event wagering.
Bettors are evenly split on whether the @Chiefs or @Eagles will hoist the Lombardi Trophy. pic.twitter.com/1X5qr7Fi2q— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) February 7, 2023
Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C., now have live legal sports betting, according to the AGA, with another three markets awaiting launch. More than half of all American adults live in a state with authorized event wagering, the AGA added.
That growth of legal wagering is driving the record numbers reported by the AGA, with 20% of American adults now forecast to wager on the Big Game. Out of the 50.4 million American adults planning to bet on the Super Bowl, 38% intend to do so online, 34% with friends, 26% via pools or square contests, 18% at a retail sportsbook, and 13% with a bookie, the AGA reported.
What’s more, the AGA says 34% of those surveyed said the growth of legal wagering has made watching the NFL more exciting and that 71% of traditional bettors reported seeing a responsible-gaming message in the past year.
“As interest in legal sports betting continues to expand, the gaming industry remains committed to responsibly delivering world-class entertainment, educating consumers about how to bet responsibly, and combating illegal gambling as we work to build a safe, competitive and sustainable legal market for all,” Miller said.
The AGA's research is based on an online survey of 2,199 adults done by Morning Consult between January 31 and February 1. The margin of error for the poll is 2%, the AGA said.