To commemorate the one year anniversary of the downfall of PASPA, The Action Network has partnered with GlobalWebIndex to present an in-depth survey of consumer attitudes toward sports betting and how they have changed over the last 12 months.

Introducing the thought-provoking study Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GlobalWebIndex, said: “The repeal of PASPA has opened up huge new opportunities for brands, but so too has it brought a range of new possibilities for sports fans. The results are striking. Not only do sports fans accept and approve of legalization, they are clearly very excited about it and willing to embrace sports betting wholeheartedly.”

The study noted that as more states draft betting legislation, the role that gambling has in consumers’ lives is increasingly under the spotlight. “But what’s striking is that sports fans see it first and foremost as a boon to the economy, or to industries as a whole,” it said. “55% think it would be good for the economy, and 47% think it would make people more interested in sports events.

“On top of that, our survey indicates sports betting can bolster the sports industry by driving interest in the competitions at the heart of it. 62% sports fans would be more likely to watch a game on TV if they had a bet on the outcome, while 46% would be more likely to watch a game in person. The benefits of PASPA repeal extend beyond just gambling operators. The results are promising for media stakeholders too.”

According to the survey, a high level of interest in gambling exists across almost all major sports and competitions, including women’s sports and esports. “61% of sports fans would be interested in making a bet on the NFL, and 58% would consider making a bet on the NBA,” it stated. “Gambling is not a fringe interest for the biggest sports in the US – it’s something that many sports fans are actively considering.”

The study also identified sports that have a disproportionate interest in betting. It said: “Horse-racing stands out, with more consumers interested in gambling in it than they are in following it. It’s a bit of an exception, as gambling is more central to the sport’s lifeblood, and betting on it has been legal in the US for decades.

“But it suggests something else too, that becomes more apparent looking at the second most successful sport in drawing users to gamble – boxing. Like horse-racing, boxing is slightly different to the rest, as its long association with Las Vegas and the state of Nevada (which had state law shielding it from PASPA) has created more of a betting culture around it.

“But both horse-racing and boxing are also linked by being geared toward the occasional bet, as sports that naturally revolve around high-profile, singular events. How bettors would engage with a longer season in flagship sports competitions is less well defined. In the NFL for example, how would a sports fan bet? On a game-by-game basis? Only for the playoffs, or just for the Super Bowl?”

Patrick Keane, CEO of The Action Network, commented on the survey: “We’re encouraged by the findings. As the sports betting industry matures in the United States, we look forward to playing a critical role in shaping its future by first understanding and then super-serving sports fans.”