US Sports Betting Update – record 46.6 millions Americans plan to bet on NFL this season
A record 46.6 million American adults plan to place wagers on NFL games this season, according to a new survey from the American Gaming Association (AGA). That represents 18% of the country’s adult population, and it is also a 3% increase compared to the 2021 season. Around half of those football fans said they will use an online sportsbook to place their bets, while demand for unlicensed bookies continues to dwindle.
The AGA commissioned Morning Consult to conduct a national sample of 2,210 American adults regarding their betting plans for the NFL season. It amplified the data collected to draw conclusions about how many people will bet on pro football on a nationwide basis. The survey suggested that 23 million American adults will place an NFL bet online this season, up 18% from 2021. A further 6 million will place a bet in-person at a retail sportsbook, a 2% increase from last year.
Meanwhile, just 13% of NFL bettors said they would use a neighborhood bookie. That is down from 18% in 2020 and 15% a year ago. “The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country,” said AGA president and chief executive Bill Miller. “Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility.”
Sports Betting Revenues on Course for Another Record Year
The AGA predicts that legal sports betting revenues will set another record this year, which is all but certain when you consider that online sports wagering is now available in New York. More than half of American adults (132 million) can now legally wager in their home state. That is up by 18 million compared to the start of the 2021 NFL season, as states including Kansas and Louisiana have now rolled out legal sports betting industries. The AGA survey found that 89% of sports bettors said it is either very important or somewhat important to use a legal, regulated sportsbook.
We are now in Responsible Gaming Education month, and the survey found that 92% of American sports bettors report awareness of responsible gambling tools. Most of the bettors surveyed believe responsible gaming programs are either very or somewhat effective (82%) and that the gambling industry is committed to encouraging responsible gaming and combating problem gambling (81%). “Responsibility is an underpinning of regulated U.S. sports betting and a clear competitive advantage as we continue to build a sustainable marketplace,” Miller added.
Among NFL bettors, the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9%) were the most popular picks to win Super Bowl LVII, followed by the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs (8%) and the Dallas Cowboys (7%). The survey was conducted before the Bills blowout win against the Rams on Thursday night, which saw the odds on them winning the Super Bowl shorten to a best price of just +550 with BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. The Super Bowl will be played in a legal sports betting jurisdiction, Arizona, for the first time in February 2023.
BetMGM Invests in High-Profile Marketing Campaign
The start of the NFL season is a key battleground for online sportsbooks as they scrabble for market share, so they have rolled out large bonuses. TV commercials are also starting up again. BetMGM’s new “IT’S ON” campaign made its debut during the TNF game, in which Josh Allen threw 26 for 31 for 297 yards and three touchdowns and Stefon Diggs made eight receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown.
In the initial ad, Hollywood star Jamie Foxx – a long-standing BetMGM brand ambassador –roams his Bellagio suite seeking sports betting tips from Kevin Garnett, Wayne Gretzky, Jalen Rose, Barry Sanders and BetMGM's newest brand ambassador, Vanessa Hudgens. All of those athletes and celebrities are also BetMGM ambassadors, and the co-owner – MGM Resorts International, which created the brand in partnership with Entain – also owns the Bellagio, along with various other resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. “Entertainment is at the core of BetMGM and we want this campaign to keep viewers on the edge of their seats in a way that's unexpected from the sports betting and gaming industry,” said Raymond Doyle, vice president of brand at BetMGM.
New ads from the “IT’S ON” campaign will be released in the coming months, bringing viewers into the epic worlds of BetMGM’s roster of brand ambassadors. Viewers will find Barry Sanders on a palatial Malibu estate playing pickleball. Another ad takes viewers on the TV set with basketball star Jalen Rose and his barber, and the series also sees NHL legend Gretzky join Connor McDavid’s on-ice training session. “We really wanted to show what makes sports betting so entertaining, and we looked to prestige ensemble TV for inspiration.,” said Peter Hughes, creative director from 72andSunny, the agency that created the campaign. “It;s is about tapping into your competitive side and being part of sports betting culture. It’s something you can talk about with friends and engage with in a more meaningful way.”
Fubo Sportsbook Expands Into New Jersey
In other news, Fubo Sportsbook has expanded into New Jersey. It was already live in Arizona and Iowa, so it is now available in three states, while it has market access deals in place to expand into Indiana and Pennsylvania too. Fubo Gaming president Scott Butera said New Jersey’s passionate sports fans will enjoy this “one-of-a-kind immersive sports wagering and viewing experience in time for football season.”
The sportsbook focuses on live betting. It syncs with a fuboTV subscription – which allows users to stream major sports from broadcasters including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN –and provides live betting options on the games you are watching. It will also monitor your viewing habits and suggest bet types you might be interested in. If you want to sign up, you will get a month’s free fuboTV subscription, along with a risk-free bet of up to $1,000, which is very similar to BetMGM’s welcome bonus. You only need to wager $10 to unlock it, and one month of fuboTV is worth $70. If you already have fuboTV, your bill will be canceled for one month.