The American Gaming Association’s national survey of expected sports betting activity for the 2020 National Football League (NFL) season shows that an estimated 33.2 million American adults, or approximately 13%, plan to bet on NFL games this year. Of these bettors:
34% (11.3 million) will place a bet through legal and illegal online platforms, up from 29% last year
20% (6.6 million) will wager at physical, legal sportsbooks, up from 18%
26% (8.6 million) will bet casually through pools, fantasy contests, and squares, down from 31%
50% (16.6 million) will bet casually with friends, family, or coworkers, down from 53%
Sports betting continues to drive excitement among fans as expected bettors are more excited about the upcoming NFL season than avid fans, casual fans, and U.S. adults generally.
This data illustrates the continued value sports betting provides to leagues through fan engagement, even when fan interest is otherwise down. Previous AGA research has also shown that sports bettors are more interested in the NFL than any other professional sports league (93 percent interested), and the NFL stands to gain $2.3 billion annually from legal sports betting, largely due to increased fan engagement.
Despite expanded access to safe and regulated legal sports betting, 18 percent of bettors plan to bet with a bookie, either in person or via a mobile platform—up from 12 percent last season. A recent AGA survey found that 55 percent of sports bettors who bet mostly with illegal operators mistakenly believe that they are betting legally. As legal sports betting options expand, this data highlights the need for educational efforts to drive bettors away from illegal operators and toward the legal market, which protects consumers and the integrity of games.
“While we’ve known for a long time that bettors are more engaged fans—particularly when it comes to football—continuing to drive them to the legal market is essential for protecting consumers and the integrity of the games they wager on.” - Bill Miller, President and CEO, American Gaming Association
NFL bettors favored reigning champions, the Kansas City Chiefs (13%), when asked who they would put a $50 bet on to win the Superbowl this season.
Morning Consult, on behalf of the American Gaming Association, conducted an online survey August 24-27, 2020 among a national sample of 2,200 American adults. The data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/-2 percent.
2020 Survey of American Sports Bettors
Nearly 3-in-4 bettors say it's important to only place wagers with legal operators.
How Much Does the NFL Stand to Gain From Legal Sports Betting?
The NFL's annual revenue may increase by $2.3 billion a year due to widely available, legal, regulated sports betting