Billion dollar maybes as 23.2m Americans plan to bet on Super Bowl

Image source: Steve Cukrov /

New research from the American Gaming Association (AGA) indicates that 23.2 million Americans plan to bet a total of $4.3bn on this year’s Super Bowl LV matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Among Super Bowl bettors, a record 7.6 million will bet with online sportsbooks this year, up 63% year-on-year.

Since last year’s game, 36 million more American adults have gained the opportunity to safely bet in legal markets in their home state with seven new jurisdictions now live: Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

The expected overall drop in overall Super Bowl betting is almost entirely caused by pandemic-led restrictions, with the largest declines anticipated for retail sportsbooks and casual bets, like pools or squares, that are made in social settings.

“This year’s Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers.”

Key findings from the survey, conducted by Morning Consult, reflect dramatically shifting betting patterns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that 1.4 million Americans plan to bet in-person at a sportsbook, down 61% from 2020 and that 1.8 million bettors plan to place a bet with a bookie, down 21%.

The study goes on to show that 4.5 million Americans plan to place a pool, squares, or similar bet, down 19%, while 11.9 million Americans plan to bet casually with friends, down 18%. As for the outcome, 56% of bettors plan to bet on the Chiefs, while 44% will place a wager on the Buccaneers.

While previous AGA research has shown consumer confusion over the legal status of many online sportsbooks, consumers feel it is important to bet legally: 65% of expected Super Bowl bettors say it is important for themselves personally to use a legal, regulated sportsbook for their wagers.

The study also shows that as awareness and availability of legal betting options grows, so do the benefits to consumers, with 34% percent of Americans recalling seeing responsible gaming messaging in the past year, up five points from 2020. Super Bowl bettors were even more likely to see responsibility content, with 53% having seen responsible gaming messaging in the past year.

“This data is an encouraging sign that our efforts to ground the expansion of sports betting in responsible gaming is taking hold,” added Miller. “Responsible gaming is core to legal sports betting’s long-term success, and this is borne out by continued demand for consumer protections only available in the legal market.”

One part of the industry’s effort to broaden consumer awareness of legal, responsible betting is the AGA’s Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly. campaign which—along with its partners, the National Hockey League (NHL), PGA TOUR, NASCAR, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and Vegas Golden Knights—educates fans on the fundamentals of responsible sports betting.