A record 46.6 million American adults are expected to wager on the 2022 NFL season, up 3% on the previous year, according to new research by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
Based on a survey of 2,210 Americans, the AGA forecasted that 18% of the entire US adult population will place at least one bet on the upcoming season, which kicks off on September 10.
Of those planning to wager, 23 million will bet online, up 18% on the 2021 season, while 10.6 million will place a wager in-person at a retail sportsbook, an increase of 2% on the previous season.
The AGA also noted that as legalisation continues to spread, just 13% of bettors said they will use a bookie, down 2% year-on-year, though bookie usage in states without legalised sports betting will be 50% higher.
“The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country,” AGA president and chief executive Bill Miller said. “Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility.”
Other key findings from the research included that 92% of those surveyed are aware of responsible gambling tools, with 90% recall seeing or hearing about responsible gaming in the past year and 51% saying they had seen more information about the issue in the past 12 months than in previous years.
Some 82% of respondents said responsible gambling programs are very or somewhat effective, while 81% believed the gaming industry is committed to encouraging responsible gaming and combatting problem gambling.
The NFL kick-off coincides with the beginning of the AGA’s inaugural Responsible Gaming Education Month, which runs throughout September.
“Responsibility is an underpinning of regulated U.S. sports betting and a clear competitive advantage as we continue to build a sustainable marketplace,” Miller added.
In addition, the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the most popular pick among fans to win Super Bowl LVII, each drawing 9% of pre-season picks. The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs were each the pick of 8% of respondents, and the Dallas Cowboys 7%.
Incidentally, the Super Bowl will be played in a legal sports betting jurisdiction for the first time this season, with State Farm Stadium in Arizona scheduled to host the end-of-season event.