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The Growing Popularity of Sports Betting in the USA

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In the past year, 39.2 million people placed a traditional sports wager, per the American Gaming Association. A Harris Poll conducted in November 2022 revealed that 71% of sports speculators wager on sports at least once per week, with 20% of respondents wagering on sports daily.

The average wager is between $30 and $35, with less than 2% of wagers exceeding $100. Which points to the concept of the “recreational bettor,” according to Andrew Bimson, president and chief operating officer of Sportradar North America, who noted the rise in wagers on multipliers and same-game parlays.

Variety Intelligence reported in December 2022 that 56 percent of gamblers believe betting is engaging and 42 percent believe it makes events more thrilling.

“People are just looking to be entertained,” Bimson said.

Since May 2018, $220 billion has been wagered with U.S. sportsbooks, according to the AGA. Three additional states opened their markets between May of 2022 and April of 2023, resulting in an increase of approximately 22% annually.

The NFL, MLB, NBA, and MLS all have agreements with sportsbook operators. There are twelve sportsbooks located inside professional stadiums. In his ownership prospectus obtained by ESPN, future Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris stated that sports wagering could increase a team’s annual revenue by $10 million to $15 million.

California, Texas, and Florida do not have legal sports wagering.

The three most populous states in the United States — California, Texas, and Florida — do not yet have legal markets for wagering, but experts remain optimistic about the industry’s future. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, an analytics firm that studies the industry, predicts that growth will increase over the next five years.

“Legal sports betting will become even more a part of the U.S. mainstream, with deeper integration between operators and endemic stakeholders like leagues, teams, and stadiums — and also between operators and betting-adjacent stakeholders like media companies, hotel chains, and beverage companies,” the firm wrote to USA TODAY Sports.

The company forecasts that the entire industry will generate $8.6 billion in revenue in 2023, rising to an estimated $14.1 billion by 2027.

“We cannot emphasize enough that, in terms of stakeholder integration and product development, U.S. sports betting is still in its infancy,” the company said.

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