First Two Weeks of NFL Action Saw Plenty of Betting — From Within the Stadiums

“Seeing data from many of these games that shows more than 10 percent of NFL fans in stadiums are engaging with licensed sportsbooks is a clear win for states that choose to regulate sports betting,” said GeoComply CEO Anna Sainsbury.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2022 6:30 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
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NFL stadiums in states with legal sports betting are seeing an impressive number of fans making wagers during games.

GeoComply, a geolocation compliance and cybersecurity firm, tracked nine states that have both an NFL team and legalized sports betting — and found that between 4.5% and 11% of fans made wagers during games in the first two weeks of the season.

"Seeing data from many of these games that shows more than 10 percent of NFL fans in stadiums are engaging with licensed sportsbooks is a clear win for states that choose to regulate sports betting," said GeoComply CEO Anna Sainsbury in a press release today. "This wealth of data is so important for lawmakers and sports leagues to determine sports betting policies in their states and at their stadiums."

The game with the most unique users was the Baltimore Ravens vs. the New York Jets in Week 1, where 8,800 accounts made wagers during the game. There were 78,827 fans at the game, so 11.2% of the crowd made at least one bet with an online sportsbook.

The Jets play at MetLife Stadium, which is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Garden State was one of the first states on the betting scene, accepting wagers a month after the Supreme Court overturned the  Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, and it leads the country with $29.6 billion in wagers since then — taking about $546.8 million in bets in August alone.

Impressive numbers

There were 10 other games that GeoComply recorded in the first two weeks of the season.

The second-most unique users were at Lincoln Financial Field in Pennsylvania, for the Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles contest that took place in the second week of the season. Of the 69,879 fans, 8,000 (11.4%) were tabbed as unique users.

The Carolina Panthers at New York Giants in Week 2 also saw 8,000 unique users of the 73,843 fans, good for 10.8%, while the Kansas City-Arizona game opening week contest saw 7,300 of the 63,697 fans (11.5%) place a sports bet.

Other Week 1 games tracked were:

  • Philadelphia at Detroit (64,537 fans, 6,100 unique users, 9.5%)
  • New York Giants at Tennessee (67,805 fans, 5,400 unique users, 8%)
  • San Francisco at Chicago (62,159 fans, 3,900 unique users, 6.3%)
  • Tampa Bay at New Orleans (69,170 fans, 3,200 unique users, 4.6%)

Other Week 2 games were:

  • Tennessee at Buffalo (70,683 fans, 5,500 unique users, 7.8%)
  • Houston at Denver (76,191 fans, 5,200 unique users, 6.8%)
  • and New England at Pittsburgh (67,307 fans, 5,000 unique users, 7.4%)

More wagering expected

The number of people wagering at stadiums should only continue to increase, after GeoComply reported that geolocation volumes from Week 1 in 2021 to Week 1 in 2022 were up 71.5%.

Those numbers are early confirmation of an American Gaming Association report released two weeks ago stating that of those who expect to wager on the NFL, 23 million planned on making a bet with an online sportsbook — an 18% increase from last year.

"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.

That could have implications for the NFL Playoffs — and the Super Bowl. Teams such as Buffalo, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are expected to make the postseason... and all will be able to take wagers if those teams host a playoff game.

Additionally, Super Bowl 57 will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Not only does the Grand Canyon State have legalized sports betting, but two weeks ago, the Cardinals debuted a retail sportsbook adjacent to the stadium — which is currently the only stadium-aligned retail location allowed to take wagers while games are being played.

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