According to data published by the American Gaming Association (AGA) from a recent national survey of the expected sports betting landscape for the upcoming 2020 National Football League (NFL) season, about 33.2 million American adults plan to place wagers on the games. This figure is roughly 13% of the adult population in the country, which is 2% less than the 38 million adults who confirmed that they would bet on the 2019 NFL season in a similar survey last year.
From the survey, 11.3 million bettors will place their sports bets via online platforms, both legal and offshore, representing 34% of the players who are going to bet this season, a number that’s up by 5% compared to 2019. Meanwhile, the number of players planning to bet on legal retail betting sportsbooks has also increased to 6.6 million, up by 2% from 18% of bettors last year.
Moreover, of the 33.2 million American adults who plan to bet on the 2020 NFL season, 8.6 million will place wagers casually, through squares, fantasy contests, and pools, which is 26% of the total, down by 5%. And this time, half of the bettors in the country, 16.6 million of them will be betting casually with family, friends, or colleagues, down from last year’s 53%.
Enthusiasm for the NFL Season Has Generally Faded
On top of covering the number of Americans who will bet and how they’ll be placing their wagers, the AGA survey also disclosed that there’s less zeal for the upcoming season compared to the previous season. 42% of the respondents, representing 4 in 10 adults in the US indicated that their excitement had waned because of a range of reasons, the most cited - by 36% of the less interested, being the increase in political activism around the NFL.
What’s more, 19% of those whose interest has reduced revealed that it was due to the empty stadiums whereas 17% were discouraged by the inability to come together with friends to watch the games.
On the other side of the coin, however, the survey disclosed sports bettors are 54% more likely to be excited about the forthcoming season, compared to 18% of the general American adult population, 41% of NFL fanatics, or 12% of casual fans of the NFL.
These numbers prove that now more than ever, sports bettors will be of even more importance to the NFL owing to the reduced enthusiasm. Bill Miller, the President, and CEO of the AGA reiterated the significance of the bettors for the approaching NFL season, and also touched on the channelization of bettors to legal markets in his statement after the release of the data by saying;
“The NFL traditionally drives a significant amount of action from sports bettors, and this year appears to be no different, … While we've known for a long time that bettors are more engaged fans—particularly when it comes to football—continuing to drive them to the legal market is essential for protecting consumers and the integrity of the games they wager on.”
Kansas City Chiefs are a Favorite Choice for Super Bowl Winner
Switching to the much-coveted Lombardi Trophy, the survey results indicate that 13% of bettors will be wagering on the Kansas City Chiefs to be the Super Bowl Champions, whereas 9% are putting their money on the Dallas Cowboys. The San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Baltimore Ravens each had a 5% vote for winning the Super Bowl this season, which will be kicking off on Thursday.
The Morning Consult conducted the online survey on behalf of the AGA, America’s national trade group that represents the country’s $261 billion industry. This survey was carried out between 24th and 27th August across a sample of 2,200 respondents, all American adults. The decline is within the margin of error of the survey but it is interesting to note that 29 more million adults in the country can now access legal sports betting services within their states, a figure that’s 54% higher than it was at the beginning of 2019’s NFL season.
In a previous survey, the AGA indicated that the NFL could rake in $2.3 billion each year from legal sports betting if things go as planned. To date, 18 states and the District of Columbia have okayed regulated sports betting since the PASPA was repealed. Four more states have already legalized the practice and are waiting to make a market debut and 7 more are mulling over signing sports betting bills into law.