After earlier this year launching a set of self-regulations on advertising and marketing legal sports betting, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has now released a new survey that found that 38,000,000 American adults, 15% of the adult population in the U.S., plan to wager on National Football League (NFL) games in this its 100th season.

American sports bettors have legally wagered more than $10 billion since last year’s invalidation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had largely limited sports wagering to land-based casinos in Nevada. The speed at which legal sports betting has grown has provided greater opportunity for millions of Americans to place bets safely with a sportsbook that is licensed and regulated.

Sports betting clearly impacts fans’ enthusiasm for engaging with the NFL

Tens of millions:

According to the September 4, 2019, AGA press release

…seven million Americans say that they will wager legally at a casino sportsbook this year, which is over 1.2 million from last year, while bets will be placed with friends by ‘tens of millions of others,’ who will either place their bets online or take part in ‘pools or squares contests.’

“During this centennial NFL season, more Americans than ever before can wager on football in safe, well-regulated environments. It is clear that as jurisdictions enact policies to provide a legal alternative to the dangerous illegal market, consumers follow suit and seek the protections they deserve,” said AGA President and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Miller.

Key findings:

Conducted by Washington, D.C. based market research company, Morning Consult, the survey‘s key findings include that nearly 24%, or one-in-four, American adults say that they would wager on the NFL if it were legal to do so in their state.

With the continued expansion of legal sports betting, fan engagement with NFL games will reportedly see an impact:

  • 75 percent of NFL bettors say they are more likely to watch a game they bet on.
  • 63 percent are more likely to gather with friends or family to watch a game.
  • 51 percent are more likely to watch pregame shows and commentary.
  • 39 percent of avid NFL fans plan to place a bet on the NFL this season.
  • 28 percent are more likely to attend a game they have bet on.

Miller added…

“Sports betting clearly impacts fans’ enthusiasm for engaging with the NFL. As the legal market grows, it is imperative for gaming and adjacent industries to focus on implementing and promoting legal sports betting responsibly to protect consumers and ensure the viability of legal markets to the continued detriment of illegal operators”

Pats favored:

Not surprising, among NFL fans the Bill Belichick-led New England Patriots are favored to win what would be their 7th Super Bowl (23%), while the AFC West’s, Kansas City Chiefs, are next in line (8%), with Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys (7%) and New Orleans Saints (6%) following.

Legal, regulated:

Since the May 2018 repeal of PAPSA, 13 states now have legal, regulated sports betting including Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Iowa and Indiana. While, Illinois, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Tennessee are close to having legal sports betting and could have some sort of legal wagering possibly this year or in 2020.

Also, not surprising, AGA’s March 2019, Sports Betting Consumer Study found that individuals who bet on sports have more interest in the NFL than in any other pro sports league (93%).

Jerry Jones prediction:

According to a recent report, Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL’s National Football Conference (NFC) East division Dallas Cowboys, believes that the rising popularity of sportsbetting in America could result in his sport increasing the value of its television broadcast rights deal by as much as 50%. And that it will aid the sport as it renegotiates its agreements with executives at NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN, as the current ten-year deal worth approximately $5 billion is due to expire in 2022.