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The rise of online gambling, fueled by smartphone convenience, has revolutionized the industry, while diverse game offerings and sports betting further entice modern players. John Schnobrich/Unsplash

As the United States' most popular league- the NFL begins, there's a surge seen in sports betting. The NFL is undoubtedly the most watched and favourite sport across America. Hence, the betting typically begins as the new season kicks off.

Throwback to 2018 when the US Supreme Court struck down the infamous PASPA act of 1992. Since then, sports betting has spread like anything.

Basically, a total of four companies control 90% of this industry. However, with sports betting made legal, US citizens have made about $245 billion out of these sporting events.

Apart from citizens, state governments also stepped in and gathered about $3.50 billion in the name of tax revenue. That was since the beginning of 2018 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was struck off.

The top three states that collected sports betting related tax revenue includes New Jersey, Nevada, and New York. One can also not ignore the fact that these states made it to the top in tax collection department only because states like California, Florida, and Texas have not yet made sports betting legal.

The NFL season for 2023-24 kicked off on September 7, and since then, all eyes were on it. NFL sports represent the hub of this gambling industry and people eagerly wait for sporting outcomes. If we estimate and look at the previous year records, the NFL has invited the most revenue growth by sports betting in 2023.

A research was conducted by Variety and CRG Global which concluded that despite NFL odds, these sports attract the attention of most Americans for sports betting. According to it, four out of five mobile users, which makes around 81%, placed a bet on the NFL last year in October.

This was way higher than the other popular leagues such as the NBA which accounted for 54%, MLB which was 44%, and college football accounted for 34%.

Also, did you know? There's a strong connection between game viewership and sports betting. This was also reported by the same research.

How is that, though? It's because mobile users who bet on sports will definitely watch that game to see the results. Because their money depends on it. Hence, the more sports betting, the more the viewership.

This is nothing but good news for NFL owners. They collect over an extra $2.3 billion every year in revenue due to sports betting that has spread like wildfire in America. This is an ever-increasing figure. As sports gambling gains more attention, this amount will keep increasing every year.

The NFL's popularity also has a role to play in it. It has the most fans as compared to other major leagues in the country.

According to Statista, in the year 2022-23, the average number of NFL viewers was around 16.7 million in a regular game of the season. However, the NBA only had 1.6 million fans in a regular match.

This is not a surprise to NFL owners considering the popularity of the league. As compared, 76% of US citizens enthusiastically watch and follow the NFL. On the other hand, only 56% of Americans actively follow the NBA.

Competitive Landscape in the US Betting Market

Betting Revenues
US Sports Betting Revenues upto 2025

With growing enthusiasm for legalised sports betting, industry revenues are estimated to have made approximately $11 billion in 2023, marking a significant 72% surge from 2022.

Projections from InsiderIntelligence.com suggest that by 2025, this figure could escalate to around $19 billion.

In the world of online sports betting, two big players control more than 75% of the online sports betting market. This was in the first quarter of 2023.

Along with a couple of players following them closely, a few companies dominate 90% of the online sports betting market in the United States, according to a gambling analytics firm. What if we tell you one of them claims it has increased its market share to 35% in its latest earnings report?

Another well-known major player recently struck a significant deal with ESPN. The CEO expressed optimism about the partnership, highlighting the strong brand affinity.

Privately held companies are also making moves to expand their presence in the online sports betting market. In April 2023, A private company introduced its new sports betting app in Ohio and Tennessee. Then in July, it acquired the U.S. business interests of PointsBet, gaining sports betting licenses in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

They now operate in 11 states, with experts predicting potential growth during the upcoming NFL season.

Legalised sports betting has rapidly expanded across the United States, with 38 states and the District of Columbia now allowing it. Just a decade ago, this level of acceptance seemed unlikely.

On the other hand, almost 68 million adults in the United States, which is roughly one in four, are expected to bet on this year's Super Bowl, marking a significant increase and setting a new record, according to the national trade association representing the gambling industry.

Data released on Tuesday by the American Gaming Association accounts for bets made through legal channels, as well as those placed with illegal bookmakers and online platforms based in other countries.

Bettors are expected to wager around $23.1 billion on this year's Super Bowl, a significant increase from last year's $16 billion, as estimated by the group.

Out of this total, approximately $1.5 billion is anticipated to be bet through legal channels, according to consensus estimates from various sources. This figure aligns closely with the $1.25 billion in legal bets projected by the research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, based in Irvine, California.

Chris Grove, a gambling analyst and partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, remarked that due to the continuous growth of regulated sports betting in the U.S., there's a high likelihood that every Super Bowl in the next decade or so will set new records for betting activity.

The level of participation in betting is estimated to be 35% higher than last year, which had set the previous record.

While this growth presents economic opportunities, there are concerns about the impact on individuals with gambling problems. Surveys by the National Council on Problem Gambling indicate an increase in the number of people seeking help for gambling issues, suggesting a potential rise in addictive behaviour alongside the expansion of sports betting in the country.