A record 50.4 million Americans are expected to make wagers on Super Bowl 57 this year, according to a new report by the American Gaming Association (AGA). That’s one in every five American adults.
The total handle could reach $16 billion, while legal sports betting is expected to reach $1 billion. That’s a 61% increase from the number of Americans who placed bets on the Super Bowl last year. Some experts expect New York sports betting operators to take in $150 million in bets for the big game.
Legal betting is on the rise, thanks to more states choosing to launch sports betting as a legal, regulated industry. The Super Bowl is the largest sports betting event in the US and a massive cash flow for sports betting operators and state tax coffers. Many argue that states that don’t allow sports betting are missing out on the tax revenue that an event like the Super Bowl could bring.
“Every year, the Super Bowl serves to highlight the benefits of legal sports betting: bettors are transitioning to the protections of the regulated market, leagues, and sports media are seeing increased engagement, and legal operators are driving needed tax revenue to states across the country,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said.
Sports Betting Legalization is Driving Interest in the NFL
According to the AGA report, “more than a third (34%) of NFL fans say that the expansion of legal sports betting has made watching an NFL game more exciting.”
A separate study by CRG Global found that sports betting also drives the viewership of NFL games. Two-thirds (67%) of people who bet on NFL games said they watch more than usual while they are gambling. The NFL also has the largest percentage of fans who watch while they bet.
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Where Are Americans Placing Wagers on the Super Bowl?
Americans are betting in person, online, and at Super Bowl parties with friends.
The AGA reports that 30 million American adults say they plan to place a traditional sports wager online, at a retail sportsbook, or with a bookie. That’s up 66% from last year.
Another 28 million plan to bet more casually with friends as a group or at a Super Bowl party as part of a pool or squares contest. Even casual betting is up 50% from 2022.
Increase in Legal Sports Betting and Responsible Gaming
More than half of American adults live in a state that has legalized sports betting. Currently, 33 states and Washington DC have legal sports betting markets, with three more states in line to launch soon.
Bettors are starting to move away from illegal sportsbooks and bookies toward more regulated options. In fact, according to the AGA, seven in 10 adults who plan to bet on Super Bowl 57 say it’s important to place bets only through legal books.
“As interest in legal sports betting continues to expand, the gaming industry remains committed to responsibly delivering world-class entertainment, educating consumers about how to bet responsibly, and combating illegal gambling as we work to build a safe, competitive, and sustainable legal market for all,” Miller said.
The AGA says messaging is key to focusing on responsible gaming as the legal sports betting market expands. Most Super Bowl sports bettors (71%) said they’ve seen a responsible gaming message in the past year. Younger bettors under 35 are more likely to say they’ve seen responsible gaming messaging. They’re also more likely to say that it’s important to them to bet legally.
Americans Split on Super Bowl Favorites
The odds aren’t the only thing nearly even between the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. The AGA’s report says Americans are equally split on the game’s outcome, with 44% each planning to bet on the Eagles and the Chiefs.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin