As states continue to legalize sports betting, more Americans will bet on NFL games in 2021.
According to the American Gaming Association, 45.2 million Americans will bet on the NFL in some way, an increase of 36% over last year's figures. According to PlayUSA, at least $12 billion will be placed on the NFL in this season's betting market. This means, when it comes to making NFL picks against the spread, there is a lot more money flowing into the market than ever before.
Legal sports betting continues to spread throughout the U.S. after the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a federal law prohibiting states from authorizing legalized gambling on college and professional sports. In addition, since the Supreme Court's decision, the NFL has reversed its position on legalized sports betting, which is why it is now easier than ever to find odds on NFL games.
NFL Embraces Sports Betting
Although the NFL now allows sports betting ads to be broadcast during game broadcasts, it will restrict broadcasters to six commercials per game. There are states that allow legal sports betting in stadiums. However, online betting may not be permitted in the arena.
This has resulted in a financial boom for the league. According to The Washington Post, the NFL projects that sports betting and gambling will generate approximately $270 million in revenue and the category will be worth more than $1 billion within a decade.
The benefits are not only for the states, but also for the teams. For example, the New Orleans Saints just signed a $138 million, 20-year naming rights deal for their stadium, which will now be called the Caesar’s Superdome. Commissioner Roger Goodell stated on CNBC that the league is already experiencing an increase in revenue for legalized sports betting categories. He added that the main goal is to be able to create more engagement, build a bigger fanbase and then reach those fans directly.
The increase in revenue for the league and its teams is critical to the NFL's recovery. After the effects of COVID-19, the league's revenue has increased significantly because of sports betting. The league revenue fell from $16 billion to $12 billion from 2019 to 2019 due to restrictions on attendance. In 2020, roughly one million people attended games, compared to 17 million in 2019.
New Agreements Expand the Market
According to the AGA, 52 data-sharing agreements and marketing partnerships have been signed by the NFL and its teams since May 2018. It predicts online betting will see the greatest growth in wagering this NFL season. More than 19.5 million people have placed bets online this year, an increase of 73%.
Casual betting is still the most popular, with 21.7 million people expected to place a bet in the U.S. this season. This is an increase of 31% from last year.
According to the AGA, Americans have wagered more than $27 billion in sports betting in the first seven months of 2021. This has generated more than $350 million in federal, state and local taxes. That number will increase significantly over the next several years, with estimates putting the market at $37 billion by 2025.