Record Number of Americans to Bet Online, Setting Up Largest U.S. Legal Handle
WASHINGTON — 23.2 million Americans plan to bet a total of $4.3 billion on this year’s Super Bowl LV matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to new American Gaming Association (AGA) research. Among Super Bowl bettors, a record 7.6 million will bet with online sportsbooks this year, up 63 percent year-over-year.
“This year’s Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers.”
Since last year’s game, 36 million more American adults have gained the opportunity to safely bet in legal markets in their home state with seven new jurisdictions now live: Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
An expected overall drop in overall Super Bowl betting is almost entirely caused by pandemic-led restrictions, with the largest declines anticipated for retail sportsbooks and casual bets, like pools or squares, that are made in social settings.
Key findings from the survey, conducted by Morning Consult, reflect dramatically shifting betting patterns amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
- 1.4 million Americans plan to bet in-person at a sportsbook, down 61 percent from 2020.
- 1.8 million bettors plan to place a bet with a bookie, down 21 percent.
- 4.5 million Americans plan to place a pool, squares, or similar bet, down 19 percent.
- 11.9 million Americans plan to bet casually with friends, down 18 percent.
- 56 percent of bettors plan to bet on the Chiefs while 44 percent plan to bet on the Buccaneers.
While previous AGA research has shown consumer confusion over the legal status of many online sportsbooks, consumers feel it is important to bet legally: 65 percent of expected Super Bowl bettors say it is important for themselves personally to use a legal, regulated sportsbook for their bets.
As awareness and availability of legal betting options grows, so do the benefits to consumers: 34 percent of Americans remember seeing responsible gaming messaging in the past year, up five points from 2020. Super Bowl bettors were even more likely to see responsibility content, with 53 percent seeing responsible gaming messaging in the past year.
“This data is an encouraging sign that our efforts to ground the expansion of sports betting in responsible gaming is taking hold,” stated Miller. “Responsible gaming is core to legal sports betting’s long-term success, and this is borne out by continued demand for consumer protections only available in the legal market.”
One part of the industry’s effort to broaden consumer awareness of legal, responsible betting is the AGA’s Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly.campaign which—along with its partners, the National Hockey League (NHL), PGA TOUR, NASCAR, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and Vegas Golden Knights—educates fans on the fundamentals of responsible sports betting.
- 25 states and Washington, DC have legalized sports betting, with 21 legal markets operational.
- 13 states currently have active or pre-filed legislation to legalize sports betting.
- More than $21 billion was wagered on sports in 2020, up from $13 billion in 2019, generating more than $210 million in state and local taxes.
- Mobile wagering has accounted for 82 percent of legal sports wagers nationwide during the pandemic.
- Previous AGA research found that more than 33 million Americans planned to bet on this year’s NFL season.
Morning Consult conducted the online survey on behalf of the AGA between Jan. 25-27, 2021, among a national sample of 2,198 adults. The data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. The margin of error is +/-2 percent and greater among subgroups. Bettors include those who expect to place a bet online, with a bookie, with a casino sportsbook, in a pool or squares contest, or casually with family or friends.
About the AGA
The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. The AGA’s members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers, and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.
Source: American Gaming Association