A new poll sheds more light on the appetite for legal sports betting in the US.
According to data collected by The Innovation Group, more than 40 percent of American adults would bet on sports at least once a year if there were a regulated market available to them.
Single-game wagering remains illegal outside of Nevada under the federal act known as PASPA. But a US Supreme Court challenge from New Jersey could pave the way for widespread legalization in the near future.
Results from TIG’s sports betting poll
The Innovation Group (TIG) is an entertainment research firm based in the US. Its most recent poll was designed to inform stakeholders on the ways Americans might respond to a regulated sports betting market.
The questions covered a variety of avenues by which wagers might be offered and consumed.
Here are the highlights that have been released so far, if respondents could bet legally in the US:
- Just under half of adults polled (41 percent) would make at least sports wager per year.
- Almost all sports bettors (90 percent) visit casinos.
- About two-thirds of prospective sports bettors (65 percent) want the ability to do so at the stadium/arena itself.
- About half of prospective sports bettors are female.
- An average bettor places about 30 sports wagers per year.
TIG’s research covers a broad range of topics surrounding gaming and entertainment, but there’s a renewed focus on sports betting as it becomes especially topical around the country. Lawmakers in several states have introduced sports betting bills in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision.
In order to prepare its clients, TIG recently released a “Sports Betting Playbook,” which provides a step-by-step plan for entry into the market.
The group will speak on the full results of the poll during a webinar on March 14.
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Framing the results
The results highlight some things that we mostly knew, but it’s still nice to see more supporting data.
If anything, NJ sports betting would likely uncover an additional revenue stream and increase total customer traffic. Atlantic City casinos expect to realize hundreds of millions of dollars annually from sports betting, which is almost entirely additive revenue.
What’s more, the casino-going crowd that wants to bet on sports has already given the operator plenty of data via reward tracking. An in-house sportsbook would instantly have a large database of potential customers, helping them to target promotions more effectively.
In-arena betting is another sticking point that could be relevant to New Jersey.
Mobile gambling would allow sports bettors to engage in the activity anywhere in the state, including at the venue where the match is taking place. The concern is that bettors doing so inside the arena could somehow be more likely to influence the contest unfairly.
That worry is misguided, though, and the potential gains in fan engagement are something even the pro sports leagues seem to understand. They are pushing for mobile wagering in many states; NJ will roll out online sports betting with a win in the Supreme Court.
The poll’s revelation that half of prospective sports bettors could be female is a bit striking, though. Women do visit casinos at a slightly higher rate than men, but there is a large perceived gap in their respective interest in sports (and sports betting). According to the data, though, that gap is much smaller than it’s presumed to be.