After years of lobbying, the US Supreme Court finally lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018. Now, many states have already legalized sports betting, and even more are in the process of doing so.
Now that betting is no longer confined to Nevada, this has in effect created a brand new industry in the United States. As you’ll see from this list of 2021 US Sports Betting Statistics, it’s taken off in a big way so far, both in terms of participation and revenue, with much more set to come.
US Sports Betting Revenue Stats
Legal Sports Betting Revenue Doubled In Its First Two Years
In 2017, Nevada reported revenue of $248.8 million from sports betting. But things took off when the rest of the country joined the party. After the federal ban was lifted, many other states legalized sports betting as well, which lead to a dramatic increase in the total revenue generated.
In 2018 the total sports betting revenue in the USA as a whole had increased to $430.7 million. But in 2019, this total more than doubled to $908.9 million.
Revenue Will Reach $8 Billion by 2025
Over the next few years, revenue is expected to continue to grow at an exponential rate.
Union Gaming explains that, thanks to partnerships between established operators like MGM and sports related companies such as Yahoo Sports and BWW, the industry is forecast to be worth $2.5 billion in 2021 and up to $8 billion by 2025.
Morgan Stanley announced that they are beginning to separate data sets for online and land based sports betting, and the forecast shows a large gulf between the two.
They project that by 2025, online sports betting revenue will account for almost 77% of the total generated in the United States, more than 3 times as much as all land based outlets combined.
The Number of Sports Books in Nevada Fell Sharply in 2020
After holding steady for the previous decade, the number of sports betting outlets in Nevada saw a sharp decline in 2020, falling from 191 to 148.
Of course, it is highly likely that the cause of this can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. But when restrictions are eased, it will be interesting to see how quickly the numbers will recover, if at all.
Will punters return, or will the availability of online betting reduce the reliance on brick and mortar sports books permanently?
US Sports Betting Consumer Stats
Most Americans Supported The Legalization of Sports Betting
Public opinion is in favour of the federal ban having been lifted, with the majority of adults in the USA saying they support legalized sports betting. Less than 1 in 5 are opposed.
In a survey by the AGA, out of 1,000 registered voters aged 18 years and older, 63% said they supported the move, 18% were against it, and 19% said they didn’t know or were undecided.
Nearly 8 out of 10 Want Sports Betting In Their Home State
In the same survey, 79% of respondents said that they supported legalizing sports betting in their home state.
This could be because they want somewhere nearby to place bets themselves, or possibly they have an eye on the huge additional tax revenues and the many benefits the states might gain from them.
13% of American Adults Participate in Sports Gambling
Or at least that is the percentage of people aged 18+ that are willing to admit to it! Gambling on sports has often been a taboo topic in some sections of US society until recently, so don’t be surprised if the real number is higher.
Nevertheless, even if we take 13% as our accepted figure, then using current population data that’s more than 33 million people who bet on sports in the USA in 2021. A massive market by anyone’s standards.
(Morning Consult / World Population Review)
Football Is By Far The Most Popular Sport To Bet On
Americans love football, and this simple fact is made clear when analysing their betting habits. People who have placed a bet on sports in the USA are three times more likely to have bet on football than any other sport.
When asked what sports they have bet on in the past, the most popular answer was football with 77% of those surveyed having bet on either NFL or College Football games. The next most popular sports were Basketball (24%), Horse Racing (20%), Baseball (17%) and Soccer (9%).
So if you’re considering starting up a sports book in the USA, make sure your football lines are sharp and plentiful if you want the punters to stay.
Betting Makes Sports More Interesting
In a survey of US adults aged 18+ who said they participate in sports betting, participants were asked what they liked about the pastime. The most common response, given by 45% of those surveyed, was that it makes sports more interesting to them.
38% said that they bet on sports because they enjoy a side game while watching the main event. A further 34% said that they enjoy betting as a way of competing with friends or colleagues, while 29% said they bet for the excitement or thrill.
American Men Are More Likely to Bet on Sports Than Women
Sports betting has traditionally been seen as a male pastime, and the current market research statistics back up that preconception. When analysing the responses by gender, 20% of males said that they participate in sports betting, compared to just 7% of females.
Younger People Bet More Than Older People
In the UK, the stereotypical image of a bookmaker includes old men watching horse racing in a smoky room. So it’s perhaps more surprising to note that in the USA, the reverse appears to be true. When analysing the responses by age group, those aged 30-44 were most likely to say that they bet on sports (22%), followed by 18-29 year olds (14%).
The figure drops to just 7% in both the 55-64 and 65+ age bands. So in the US, sports betting is certainly predominantly a younger person’s game.
Consumers Don’t Believe Pro Sports Leagues Should Get A Cut
Public opinion in the USA does not support the notion of sport itself being entitled to a share of the sports betting pie.
55% of people disagree that the professional sports leagues should receive a share of the revenue from sports betting. Just 23% supported the idea, with 22% saying they didn’t know or had no opinion.
Brand Awareness of Offshore Sportsbooks is Low
Prior to the legalization of sports betting in the USA, the only option that US players had to bet online was to use offshore sportsbooks. However, most American adults who say they have bet on sports in the past were not aware of any of the major online betting sites available to them.
A survey showed that just 13% had ever heard of Bet Online, 7% had heard of MyBookie and 3% had heard of GT Bets. A massive 64% had never heard of any of the top ten offshore sports betting sites at all.
US Super Bowl Betting Stats
Super Bowl Betting In Nevada Has Doubled Since 2004
In 2004, just over $81 million was wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada sportsbooks. Ten years later, this figure increased to nearly $120 million in 2014. Now, in 2021 the total betting turnover has twice exceeded $150 million.
(Nevada Gaming Control)
Super Bowl LII Saw The Most Money Wagered, But One Of The Lowest Profit Margins In History
Super Bowl LII in 2018 currently holds the record for the highest amount wagered on a single event in Nevada.
A total of $158,586,934 was wagered across all of Nevada’s sports books as the Eagles pulled off a shock by beating the Patriots. But they didn’t keep much of it! The record turnover resulted in just a 0.7% profit for the sportsbooks, the lowest gross yield since 2011.
(Nevada Gaming Control)
2008 Was The Only Year In Which The Punters Beat The Bookies
Since 2004, there has only been one occasion in which the Nevada sportsbooks have failed to make a profit from Super Bowl betting. This was Super Bowl XLII in 2008. when the New York Giants pulled off a massive shock by beating the Patriots 17-14 in Phoenix.
New England had started the game as huge odds on favourites. But Nevada counted the cost as the Giants defied the odds, resulting in an unprecedented $2.57 million loss for the sportsbooks.
(Nevada Gaming Control)
Fantasy Sports Betting Stats
The US Fantasy Sports Market Is Worth Over $8 Billion
The market size of the fantasy sports services sector in the USA grew from $5.1 billion in 2011 to nearly $8.5 billion in 2019. Its value dropped back to $7.8 billion in 2020 (due to COVID) but is projected to recover most of that loss and reach $8.4 billion in 2021. Expect future steady growth in the next few years as online betting expands as a whole.
The Fantasy Sports Sector Is Good For The Economy
More and more businesses are active in the fantasy sports industry, with statistics showing a steady annual growth. The number of businesses involved in Fantasy Spoorts has almost trebled in a decade, rising from 264 in 2011 to 753 in 2021.
Additionally, in 2021 the sector now supports over 56,000 jobs.
The Average Fantasy Sports Player Is A 37 Year Old College Graduate
Statistics show that 4 out of every 5 fantasy sports players are men, with an average age of 37. What’s more, they’re an educated bunch. The data reveals that 50% of players have a college degree education, or higher.
Average Player Spend Is $653 Per Annum
Fantasy sports betting players aren’t afraid to open their wallets. The average player spends $653 in a 12 month period, covering things like league setup and entry costs, single-player challenge games, and other league related materials.
The decision to legalize sports betting in the USA has in effect created a brand new industry that is still in its infancy in 2021. The USA sports betting statistics at our disposal forecast rapid growth in the short term, with online and mobile betting leading the way.
It remains to be seen what the long term effect will be on traditional US betting providers. Brick and mortar outlets such as Vegas sports books may not recover to their previous levels, although related products such as Fantasy Sports are likely to remain strong.
The data indicates that there are clear opportunities for new businesses to establish a presence in this market. New entrants would be wise to take note of the demographics and preferences of existing consumers when deciding how to best position themselves.
Last Updated on March 16, 2021