new study by U.S. platform for betting analysis and advice Pickswise.com examines the behaviors, habits and preferences of the American sports bettor. The national demographic and psychographic survey was conducted by Beacon Research for Pickswise among 1,500 self-identified U.S. sports bettors residing in states where the activity is legal.
The study finds sports bettors in the country to be predominantly men (75%) in their 30s and 40s (46%), 72% of them white. However, the report says that new bettors –those who have joined wagering activities within the past year– tend to be younger and more diverse by gender and race.
The inaugural edition of the Annual Sports Bettor Survey positions football (both professional and college) as the most frequent choice for wagering (73%), with basketball as a close second (62%). Baseball, boxing, soccer and horse racing follow in the second tier.
Nearly one-quarter of respondents said they bet daily, and most bettors describe their average stake to be in the $50-$99 range. Unsurprisingly, bettors also indicate they are avid sports consumers, with significant time spent on research and analysis, as well as pre- and post-game sports news, on top of watching games themselves.
“As legal sports betting continues to expand here, a profile is emerging of highly engaged fans with an appetite for information, analysis and insights to inform their picks,” said Dan Pozner, VP of Content for parent company Spotlight Sports Group. “Based on the results of this first Pickswise.com survey, three-quarters say they spend at least an hour each week on research before placing bets.”
This is good news for the sports betting industry: as the legal betting market continues to grow, so does the market for content that helps bettors wager, with 97% of people surveyed saying they are interested in research and analysis before placing bets.
Other key findings of the report state that 70% of bettors wager at least weekly, and 61% place at least three bets per week; nearly one-quarter place five or more. About three-quarters of bettors surveyed (74%) have opened multiple mobile sportsbook accounts, and in terms of research, 80% trust content from outlets not affiliated with a sportsbook.
As legal sports betting becomes an increasingly popular industry, the new population of sports bettors is starting to change. People of color represent one-third of those who first placed their wagers in the past year, compared to just a quarter of longer-term bettors. Similarly, three-in-ten new bettors are female, compared to 23% of longer-term bettors.
The main motivations listed by sports bettors find “winning money” as the major reason for wagering (71%). A total 61% of bettors are in “for the thrill”, while 51% of respondents have cited the “challenge of picking winners” as a motivation.
“Legalized betting is offering fans new opportunities to engage with the sports they enjoy, both before and after kickoff,” said Andre Schwartz, Director at Beacon Research. As a majority of respondents admitted spending time researching their bets and half place live bets, the U.S. is seeing “the emergence of a more participatory way for fans to consume live sports.”
Another highlight of the report finds that most bettors play fantasy sports as well, and DraftKings and FanDuel were picked as the dominant betting platforms: 57% of respondents said they have used DraftKings, and 50% have used FanDuel. BetMGM, Bet365 and FoxBet round out the top five most-used sportsbooks.