New York led the way in a record-setting first week of the National Football League season. More than 100 million geolocation checks were performed in the United States during the opening weekend of the NFL season, according to GeoComply.
The state of New York, which launched its legal online sports betting market just prior to the Super Bowl earlier this year, led the way. Of the estimated 103.1 million geolocation checks done by sports bettors in the U.S. last weekend, 15.7 million (15.2%) were from New York. Last year during NFL Week 1, there were 60.1 million geolocation checks, GeoComply reported.
The surge in activity, fueled by New York and other states that have added legal sports betting both online in the last 12 months, resulted in a 71.% increase in geolocation checks over the first weekend of the 2021-22 NFL season. The data includes all 15 games played from Thursday through Sunday evening.
GeoComply’s Chief Executive Officer Anna Sainsbury said the activity during the opening weekend of the professional football season is “an unbelievable start.”
“The growth of legal betting suggests that Americans are ditching offshore sportsbooks for regulated options in their home states,” Sainsbury said. “This is exactly the outcome legislators and regulators looked to achieve through legalization as they now protect consumers and increase tax revenues.”
What is Geolocation and how Does it Keep Sports Bettors Safe?
A geolocation is the process of confirming the location or verifying the identity of sports bettors using a mobile sportsbook or through a sportsbook website.
Sports betting operators are required to securely verify the location of customers registering to use an online sportsbook online. This involves the use of geolocation software and mapping technology that confirms the physical location of the sports bettor. A bet cannot be placed online unless it comes from within a jurisdiction that allows legal sports betting.
For example, in order for a resident of New Jersey to create an account with a sportsbook mobile app, and place wagers on sporting activities, that person and their device must be within the state boundaries of New Jersey.
Geolocation also helps keep consumers safe from fraud, by securely confirming a person’s identity in many ways before an account is confirmed, and by using encryption to safely protect against identity theft and bank fraud.
GeoComply is the industry leader in providing geolocation security to sports betting operators. The company provides the service for nearly 100% of the industry, across many of the competitors in the sports gaming space. According to the company, their clients include DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, and Sightline.
Five states — Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, and New York — added legalized sports betting in one form or another since the kickoff of the 2021 NFL season. New York has already become the largest sports betting market in the country.
Most Geolocation Checks for Sports Betting by State
All of the states that had online sports betting in place a year ago saw a large spike in geolocation checks, an indication of more betting activity. Pennsylvania’s geo checks went from 11.8 million in the first weekend of the 2021-22 NFL season to 15.3 million this year. New Jersey grew from 12.6 million to 13.5 million, and Michigan saw a jump by two million, from 7.7 million last season during opening weekend to 9.7 this season.
Geolocation services and technology from GeoComply are embedded in software and apps on more than 400 million devices in the U.S., and according to the company, it analyzes more than 9 billion transactions each year.
Here is the breakdown by state of the number of geolocation checks from Sept. 8-11:
- New York … 15.3% of geolocation traffic
- Pennsylvania … 14.8%
- New Jersey … 13.1%
- Michigan … 9.4%
- Illinois … 7.8%
- Arizona … 7.0%
- Virginia … 5.9%
- Indiana … 4.6%
- Tennessee … 4.5%
- Kansas … 3.5%
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski