Professional football will start back up Thursday evening – and this year’s season could see a massive amount of Americans age 21 and up bet on it.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) found in a survey that for the 2023 season, over a quarter of American adults – 28% – said they had intentions of doing so. The percentage, according to the industry group, comes out to some 73.5 million projected to put money on NFL football.
Year-over-year, those with NFL wager plans have seen a 57.7% jump compared to last year’s 46.6 million, the AGA said.
A "few things" have driven the surge from 2022, AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark told FOX Business in an interview.
"We talk a lot about the decision by the Supreme Court to invalidate the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act five years ago, but really, Americans have been betting on sports for a really long time," he said. "And so part of what you’re seeing in this year-over-year increase is significant migration of American adults who bet on sports away from the illegal market and into the regulated markets."
He noted that included new markets "coming online," some of which he described as "big sports" and "big gaming" markets. Those included Massachusetts, Ohio, Maryland and Nebraska.
"So there’s been growth in the marketplace in terms of where people can bet legally and continued adoption of the protections of the regulated market by seasoned sports bettors," Clark explained.
The AGA said 35.1 million American adults have plans to go the online route for their NFL betting this year, a lift of 52.6% from last year.
For physical sportsbooks, 13.6 million have expressed an intention of wagering at them. Some others plan on using a bookie, bringing the combined amount that aim to use one of those three options up to 49.68 million, according to the AGA.
The fall "brings a really peak for sports betting activity after a little bit of a lull on the sports calendar at the end of the summer," Clark noted.
"So you see increasing appetite and interest engaging once the NFL and college football and baseball playoffs and hockey season starting and things happening throughout the course of the fall that will increase activity."
The share of NFL fans projected to bet came in at 37% for the 2023 season, the AGA found.
The evening game serving as the first of the 2023 regular season will pit the Kansas City Chiefs against the Detroit Lions at the home stadium of the former.
The Chiefs finished out last year’s season by winning the Super Bowl Championship title, the third in the Missouri-based team’s history. Meanwhile, the Lions did not get to the playoffs, beating their opponent in 9 of their games, according to ESPN.
The 2023 regular NFL season will span 272 games, with each team taking to the field 17 times, according to the league.