The Green Bay Packers square off against the Chicago Bears Thursday night, marking the start of the NFL regular season. With the recent surge of states legalizing sports gambling, the 2019 NFL season will see more Americans betting on games than ever before. (The Bears are three-point favorites, by the way.)
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, effectively making sports betting a state-by-state issue, there are currently 18 states with legal sports betting in some form. There are another 18 states that have legislation in the works and projected by The Action Network to legalize the activity by 2021.
According to a study released by the American Gaming Association, 38 million Americans plan to bet on NFL games this season. With legalized sports betting in many states, 6.9 million will likely place their bet in a legal sportsbook, as opposed to an illegal bookmaker or offshore account.
NEW STUDY: 38 million American adults plan to bet on @NFL games this season, and 1.2 million more will place their bets with legal sportsbooks this year compared to last year. More here: https://t.co/r8J3cgAG71 #NFL100 pic.twitter.com/6IFitQ8snU
— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) September 4, 2019
That number will only grow as more states legalize the act. The study stated that one in four Americans would likely place a bet on NFL games if betting was legal and convenient in their state.
Last month it was announced that American bettors wagered more than $10 billion on sports in the 14 months following PASPA’s overturning.
Mobile and online betting have driven most of the revenue in states where it is legal. New Jersey, which held the top spot for total sports betting handle for the month of May, has 80 percent of its sports betting done online. Garden State sportsbooks accepted $318.9 million in wagers in May with roughly $255 million of it gambled online.
The mobile and online aspect of betting has become so integral to its success as a market, that other states have followed suit. Rhode Island, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, Iowa, and of course, Nevada, have all passed mobile legislation.
Tennessee’s legislation only permits online and mobile sports betting. The legislation was passed in May and sports betting will likely go live by the start of 2020, and possibly as early as November.
West Virginia’s mobile betting is back online after a six-month blackout due to legal issues with their online provider.
Rhode Island just launched its mobile options at the start of the month, giving residents the option to bet on the first game of the season from the palm of their hands. In the Ocean State, gamblers only need to be 18 years old to bet on sports. Every other state in the country mandates sports bettors be at least 21.
Cash-strapped state governments have also used legal sports betting as a way to increase tax revenue. Illinois passed such legislation in June. When Gov. J.B. Pritzker released his budget for the year, it included $200 million in projected tax revenue from legal sports betting.
Card Player readers can dip their toes into the sports betting world with FantasyDraft’s seven-day free trial. The 100 percent rake-free daily fantasy sports site is hosting the $1 million Hooters Kickoff Freeroll this week.