The American Gaming Association has shared results of its annual national survey of Americans’ NFL betting plans, showing a record 45.2 million Americans (18%) plan to wager on the 2021 NFL Season, set to start September 9.
The figures represent a 36% increase from the 2020 NFL season, with increased wagering being driven by the expansion of legal sports betting in several states, as well as increased fan enthusiasm, finds the AGA.
“The enthusiasm of bettors for the upcoming NFL season highlights the remarkable growth of the industry over the past three years,” said Bill Miller, President and CEO of AGA. “Importantly, when the 2021 NFL season begins, more than 111 million Americans will be able to wager safely with regulated sportsbooks in their home states rather than with the predatory illegal market.”
Despite NFL betting projected to be up across all wagering methods, online sportsbooks are expected to see the largest increase when compared to 2020. In contrast, illegal bookies are set to see the slowest growth.
Highlights of the survey found that 21.1 million American adults will bet casually with friends, up 31% from 2020. About 19.5 million Americans will place a bet online, up 73% versus 2020, and 14.6 million will participate in a paid fantasy contest or other types of pool competition, up 69%.
Moreover, 10.5 million Americans are set to place bets at physical casino sportsbook, up 58%, and 6.7 million will place bets with a bookie, up 13% from 2020.
Since the 2020 NFL season kick-off, the number of legal U.S. sports betting jurisdictions has grown from 19 to 24. This allows 107 million Americans to place legal wagers in their home states.
Another key factor found by the survey is that 25% of Americans state that they are more excited about the upcoming season compared to previous seasons, up 18% from 2020.
Among all Americans interested in betting, fans from the Northeast (21%) are the most willing to wager, followed by the West (18%), Midwest (17%), and South (15%). Bettors place the Chiefs as the most popular pick to win the Super Bowl (15%), followed by the Buccaneers (11%) and Cowboys (7%).
The online survey was conducted August 25-30, 2021, by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Gaming Association. Results were obtained among a national sample of 2,200 American adults, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region with results having a margin of error or +/-2 percent.