How Much Do Americans Bet on Sports?
Written by Phoebe
Published date · Nov. 30, 2021 | Last Updated · Dec. 14, 2022 | Read Time: 4 mins
How Much Do Americans Bet on Sports?
The US sports betting industry is constantly evolving and is currently more popular than ever. However, information is limited regarding how much money Americans spend on sports betting each year. This is due to more black market traders and offshore sportsbooks handling a large majority of sports-based wagering. In addition, only legal on-premises sports betting in the states are recorded and tallied. This, in turn, makes it difficult to accurately represent how much we all bet on sports each year. If you are interested in how much the US bets on certain sports every year, you have come to the right place. Here at CasinoRange, we have done our research, so you don’t have to!
How many Americans are Betting on Sports?
Millions of Americans are wagering on athletic events from the NBA, MLB, NHL, tennis or horseracing to major events such as the Super Bowl. As a result, more and more states are establishing their own sports betting marketplaces. However, each state has its own different rulesets, sometimes making it difficult for beginners to understand what they can or can’t bet on. Nevertheless, sports betting has now become synonymous with sports, and the number of betting enthusiasts has increased year after year due to legalisation and accessibility. The trend indicates that in the years to come, even more Americans will wager on sports leagues and events.
Possibly one of the most popular sports in the US is football; consequently, it draws the largest number of sports bettors each year. The NFL season (including the Superbowl) surpasses all other sport in terms of betting each year, closely followed by college football at online sportsbooks. Over 45.2 million Americans will bet on the NFL season in 2021, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). This number has risen 36% from last year, which is quite a jump! This increase is possibly due to the spread of legal sports betting across the US following a Supreme Court ruling in 2018 that overturned a federal prohibition, preventing states from allowing authorised betting on collegiate and professional sports. During the NFL season, an estimated $100 billion is wagered at regulated sportsbooks, with billions of dollars placed on the Super Bowl alone in the United States.
Basketball is unquestionably one of the most popular sports among American bettors. With 1,230 games per season, it’s no surprise wagering on NBA games is so prevalent. According to Statista, as of April 2019, the sports with the biggest proportion of sports betting interest in the United States were the NFL and the NBA. March Madness in 2021 was a reflection of how much the sports betting industry and landscape have evolved. Since 2019 the number of American’s wagering at sportsbooks regarding basketball has nearly doubled. 30.6 million Americans placed traditional bets on March Madness in 2021, quite a significant leap from the 17.8 million in 2019. According to the AGA, 18% of Americans wagered on March Madness in 2021. This increase has been attributed to the rise in mobile sports betting in the last few years, making betting easier and accessible. $8.5 Billion is estimated to have been spent on March Madness alone!
With over 3000 preseason, regular season, and playoff games to bet on, MLB has the longest sports season of any professional league in the United States. Every year, each of the MLB's 30 clubs plays a staggering 162 games, for a total of 2,430 games in a regular season. So it is no surprise that one of the most traditional sports in the country, which has so many opportunities to wager, is popular amongst the American public. Baseball betting is a large business that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year. Many fans find it difficult to understand how betting on baseball works, but it can be very profitable once you get the hang of it! Big league teams have also signed lucrative multi-year sportsbook arrangements. For example, the Chicago Cubs now have a deal with DraftKings allegedly worth more than $100 million. Statistics for the overall amount of money bet on baseball in 2021 is still difficult to estimate, but in 2017 American’s were wagering $36.5 billion on MLB, each year according to the AGA.
The Super Bowl is not only the biggest American television event of the year but is also the single most bet on athletic event in the United States. Over 60 million watch the Super Bowl every year, and billions of dollars are spent betting on the game. According to the AGA, hundreds of millions of dollars are placed on the Super Bowl alone each year at licenced sportsbooks, with over $6 billion wagered if all sportsbooks are included. In addition, one survey found that in 2021 nearly half of Americans planned to bet on the Super Bowl, with 43% of these bettors wagering at least $100. The Super Bowl has so many ways to bet whether you are a beginner to sports betting or not, there is something for everyone! While there is no definitive number regarding how much Americans bet each year, we can assume it is in the billions of dollars range. With sports betting becoming more and more accepted, we are bound to see these numbers rise!