Survey: Record numbers expected to play on NFL

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A record 46.6 million Americans plan to bet on the NFL this season, up 3% from last year, according to survey results released Wednesday by the American Gaming Association.

As the NFL season kicks off Thursday, 31 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have launched legal betting markets, and a handful more are preparing to enter the bookmaking business in the coming months. California voters will decide in November whether to allow legal sports betting in the state.

More than $50.4 billion has been wagered on sports with U.S. sportsbooks as early as 2022, according to the AGA.

Data firm Morning Consult conducted the survey of 2,210 Americans on behalf of the AGA in late August. The survey results show:

• 23 million US adults plan to bet online this season, up 18% from 2021, while 10.6 million plan to bet in person.

• 13% of NFL players say they will use an unlicensed bookie this season, down 2% year-over-year. Bets at bookies are 50% higher in states without legalized sports betting, study shows.

• 89% of Americans who bet on sports in the past year indicated that it is “very or somewhat important” to bet with a legal, regulated sportsbook.

“The continued interest in NFL betting reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a release announcing the results. “Consumers clearly want legal betting options and understand the regulated industry’s fundamental obligations to accountability.”

September is Education Month for Responsible Gambling. The survey found that 92% of American sports bettors are aware of responsible gambling tools.

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