U.S. Online Sports Betting Activity Surges in NFL’s Week 1, Geolocation Numbers Show

Vancouver-based GeoComply reported geolocation volumes from Thursday to midnight Eastern Time on Sunday were up 71.5% compared to Week 1 of 2021.

Last Updated: Sep 12, 2022 10:42 AM ET Read Time: 2 min
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The legal spread of online sports betting across the United States helped drive a surge in activity at mobile bookmakers during the first week of the National Football League’s regular season, numbers from geolocation company GeoComply Solutions Inc. suggest.

Vancouver-based GeoComply reported geolocation volumes from Thursday to midnight Eastern Time on Sunday were up 71.5% compared to Week 1 of 2021, translating into a “record” 103.1 million verification transactions for the NFL’s opening slate of games. 

“Clearly an unbelievable start to the NFL season,” said Anna Sainsbury, GeoComply’s chief executive officer, in a press release. “The growth of legal betting suggests that Americans are ditching offshore sportsbooks for regulated options in their home states. This is exactly the outcome legislators and regulators looked to achieve through legalization as they now protect consumers and increase tax revenues.”

Online sportsbooks rely on GeoComply’s technology to help them determine the location of players, ensuring they are in a place with legal sports betting before they place a wager. The company says it provides geolocation services to nearly 100% of operators in the U.S., giving it a “unique view” into the industry. 

The industry, meanwhile, has been expanding across the United States, which is a major reason why GeoComply's geolocation volumes exploded year-over-year in Week 1. 

Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, and New York are now in the midst of their first NFL regular season with legal online sports betting, with 25 states overall offering some authorized form of mobile wagering. New York's launch of online sports betting in January has been a huge driver of activity for bookmakers, as the state now regularly ranks as the leader in terms of total monthly wagering.

“New York continues its reign as ‘King of the Hill’ with 15.3 percent market share for U.S. betting, but we are also seeing strong growth across the country,” Sainsbury said.

You gotta hand it to them

There were 15.7 million geolocation checks in New York during the first week of NFL action, followed by Pennsylvania with 15.3 million and New Jersey with 13.5 million, GeoComply reported. Michigan and Illinois were the next-busiest jurisdictions, with 9.7 million and 8 million transactions, respectively.

Illinois saw particularly strong growth in transaction volumes, which rose 60% compared to 2021 following the end of the state's in-person registration requirement for mobile wagering earlier this year.

“GeoComply has worked hand in glove with our customers over the offseason to ensure a seamless and, most importantly, safe start to the NFL season,” Sainsbury said. “Whether it’s confirming location, verifying identities or detecting and thwarting possible fraud, our technology solutions are leading the way to support the regulated online gaming environment.”

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