When it comes to sports betting in the U.S., there’s no doubt that football is king. As football returns to TVs and stadiums across the country, more Americans than ever are showing interest in sports betting and changing how they bet.
According to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) annual NFL wagering estimates, a record 46.6 million American adults (18 percent) plan to bet on the league’s 2022 season, a three percent uptick over last year’s previous all-time high.
Importantly, as legalization spreads, bettors are moving away from bookies and toward regulated options. Of American adults:
- 23 million will place a bet online this season, up 18 percent from 2021.
- 6 million will place a bet in-person at a sportsbook this season, up two percent from 2021.
- Just 13 percent of NFL bettors say they will use a bookie, down two points from last year (15 percent) and five points from 2020 (18 percent).
- Bookie usage is 50 percent higher in states without legalized sports betting.
Much of this trend can be attributed to growing consumer awareness of legal options and their benefits: 89 percent of past-year sports bettors now say it is very or somewhat important that they bet with a regulated sportsbook.
Taken together, these results show increasing exposure to responsible gaming messaging and bettor movement toward legal operators, a reflection of consumer confidence in legal options and our industry’s commitment to responsibility—something the illegal market, which invests nothing in responsibility, will never be able to claim.
132 million American adults can wager legally in their home state today, 18 million more than at the kickoff of last year’s NFL season. As that number continues to grow, consumers will continue to benefit