The National Hockey League (NHL) could see its annual revenue increase by $216m annually due to widely available, legal, regulated sports betting, according to a new Nielsen Sports study commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

The study analyzes the revenue streams that legal sports betting could generate for the NHL: revenue as a result of spending from betting operators on advertising, data and sponsorship, and revenue generated as a result of increased consumption of the league’s media and products.

According to Nielsen Sports, greater fan engagement and viewership could boost the NHL’s total annual revenue from media rights, sponsorships, merchandise and ticket sales by 3.5 percent, producing $151m in new revenue from increased consumption of the league’s products.

Legal sports betting could help the NHL generate an additional $65m in revenue as a result of spending by betting operators and data providers. The study projects that gaming operators may spend $24m on advertising, which will directly increase the league’s rights fees by the same amount. An additional $35m in sponsorship revenue and $6m in data is also projected for the league and its teams.

“Today’s announcement reaffirms that legal, regulated sports betting will create significant new revenue opportunities for sports leagues,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Much like the NHL’s recent successful expansion into Las Vegas, legal sports betting will continue to expand across the country, bringing with it a $216m opportunity for the league.”

To quantify the value of a legal sports betting market to the NHL, Nielsen Sports surveyed more than 1,000 adult sports fans – including NHL fans – and self-identified sports bettors nationwide to model how a national, legal sports betting market would affect the sports consumption habits of non-bettors, casual bettors and avid bettors, and how this change in consumption would translate to increased revenue.