More Americans will bet on the NFL as the league embraces betting

More Americans will bet on the NFL as the league embraces betting

More Americans than ever will bet on NFL games in the 2021 season as states continue to embrace legal sports betting and operators like Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and MGM Resorts invest more.

According to a study by the American Gaming Association, about 45.2 million Americans plan to bet on one form or another of the NFL season, up 36% from last year. According to PlayUSA, the sports betting market tracker, there will be at least $ 12 billion to bet on the NFL this season.

The increase comes as legal sports betting continues in the United States following a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a federal law prohibiting states from allowing legalized betting on college and professional sports.

Twenty-six states and Washington, DC now allow legal sports betting – eight more states than at the start of last season.

Additionally, several states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, and New York, have also approved legislation in one form or another, but have yet to allow betting platforms to launch – potentially. with the Super Offer to place bets until the end. bowl in february

An NFL Presidency game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Las Vegas Raiders on August 14, 2021 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Adopt sports betting

The NFL, once so fierce against sports betting that is legal, has joined with other US leagues in suing New Jersey to block legalization in 2012, raising integrity concerns with Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Court supreme. The decision has since been gradually overturned.

While the NFL became the last of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to sign partnerships with sports betting operators in April, it now has seven: Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet, MGM, PointsBet and WineBet. These partnerships allow these operators to purchase NFL advertising and media inventory, as well as use the NFL logo for retail and online sports betting.

The NFL now allows sports betting ads to run on sports broadcasts, although it will limit broadcasters to six sports betting ads per game. Stadiums in states where sports betting is legal may also have betting houses; However, only online betting is allowed as no in-person betting is allowed.

Goodell said of sports betting in an appearance on CNBC Thursday, “I think it’s great for our fans, and ultimately it will be great for the NFL and our partners because it will create more engagement.” will produce. “” It will be a bit similar to what fantasy football was for us in the 90s and it has been for the last few decades, but it will be an even more immersive experience. “

The league has benefited financially. According to the Washington Post, the NFL is expected to generate around $ 270 million in revenue from sports betting and sports betting and the category is expected to exceed $ 1 billion over the decade.

The teams also benefit. The New Orleans Saints signed a 20-year, $ 138 million naming rights deal with Caesars to rename the Superdome, while teams from the Arizona Cardinals to the New York Jets signed agreements with companies such as BetMGM and Fubo, respectively, for betting houses in stadiums. have signed. .

“We’re already seeing an increase in revenue in the legalized sports betting categories, but that’s not our primary focus,” Goodell said on CNBC. “Our main goal here is to be able to strengthen that engagement, build a larger fan base and reach those fans directly.”

In total, the NFL and its teams have signed 52 data sharing and marketing partnerships since May 2018, according to the AGM.

The increase in revenues for the league and its teams is significant following the impact of COVID-19 on its business. The league’s revenue rose from $ 16 billion last season to $ 12 billion, heavily tied to attendance restrictions – nearly one million fans attended games in 2020, up from more than 17 million in 2019.

Traders see profit in the form of a betting spread

With the NFL now embracing sports betting, operators have used the league’s popularity to attract new users.

“There is real magic with the NFL,” Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday. “There is always a reason to watch.”

Snowden said Penn National, which paid $ 163 million for a 36% stake in Barstool Sports in January 2020, now has betting operations in nine states, down from zero at the start of the 2020 NFL season. Last month, the company announced it would acquire Canadian sports betting company theScore for around $ 2 billion.

One of the main drivers of the increase in betting around the NFL is spot betting via parlays, or effective betting on smaller outcomes in the game, such as who will score the first touchdown or how many yards will run. behind.

“If you bet on the Thursday night game, you cannot bet only if [Dallas] the cowboys will win or if tampa bay [Buccaneers] But if Dak Prescott throws the first touchdown or Tom Brady throws more than 300 yards, ”said Snowden. “It makes betting on the game even more fun and exciting. “

These types of bets are even more important when betting through an app, where you can receive a push notification when it is available or when an outcome is determined.

DraftKings launched the similar Parlay game in August. During the company’s second quarter 2021 earnings conference call with analysts on August 6, CEO and Chairman Jason Robbins called Speaks “a great feature that our customers are asking for.” [which] There is also usually a higher margin.

“The NFL is basically like our holiday season,” Robbins said on that call. “That’s when we get the hottest new players and reactivate most of the player base.”

DraftKings said it had second quarter revenue of $ 298 million, up 320% year-over-year. The company raised its revenue forecast for 2021 from $ 1.21 billion to $ 1.29 billion.

According to the AGM, betting with online sports betting is expected to see the strongest growth in betting methods this NFL season, with more than 19.5 million people betting online, up 73% from a year earlier. year over year.

By comparison, 10.5 million people are expected to bet on sports betting at physical casinos this season, up 58% year-over-year.

The most popular way to bet is to live casually with friends, with 21.7 million people expected this season, a 31% increase year over year.

It is estimated that 14.6 million people will participate in a paid fantasy contest or any other type of pool competition, an increase of 69% from 2021, while 6.7 million are expected to bet with bets, or a 13% increase year over year.

Overall, Americans have legally wagered nearly $ 27 billion on sports in the first seven months of this year, according to the AGM, generating more than $ 350 million in federal, state and local taxes.

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