New research published by the American Gaming Association (AGA) today indicates that circa three million more American adults have said they will wager on this year’s Super Bowl than last year, with an estimated 26 million bettors ready to stake on Sunday’s final. 

The increase in betting will, said the association, generate wagers worth approximately $6.8bn as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers. It will also represent a significant shift away from betting on the illegal market. 

Key findings from the survey, conducted by Morning Consult, suggest that more than one-in-ten American adults plan to bet on Super Bowl LIV. Of the 26 million Americans who will wager on the game, close to four million will place a bet in person at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, up by 25% from last year.

Nearly five million will place a bet through an online or mobile platform, either through a licensed, legal operator or an illegal offshore book, a 19% increase from last year, while millions more will wager with a bookie, in a pool or squares contest, or casually with family or friends.

The report noted that 52% said they would bet on the Kansas City Chiefs, while 48% will bet on the San Francisco 49ers.

“With 14 operational markets and another seven close behind, Americans have never before had so many opportunities to wager on the Super Bowl in a safe and legal manner, and clearly, they are getting in on the action,” said Bill Miller, AGA President and CEO. “With increased visitation to legal sportsbooks, we are successfully drawing bettors away from the predatory illegal market.”

Viewership for NFL games rose 5% in 2019, up another five points from the year before. This is yet another example of how the NFL will earn approximately $2.3bn annually due to increased fan engagement from sports betting. Previous AGA research found that 75% of NFL bettors say they are more likely to watch a game they have bet on, and sports bettors are more interested in the NFL than any other professional sports league.

“I have absolute confidence that Americans didn’t start betting on sports when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned,” continued Miller. “What makes this year’s Super Bowl remarkable is that more fans than ever before will have the reassurance that the integrity of their bets on the big game will be preserved. 

“The continued expansion of legal sports betting—to the detriment of the illegal market—truly benefits all stakeholders, from enhanced fan engagement for teams to added tax revenue for state and local economies.”