AGA projects 46.6 million Americans will bet on NFL this season

AGA football betting data
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With over 30 states now offering some form of legal and regulated sports betting in the US, the number of participants in the fledgling sports betting industry is on the rise. So far, US sportsbooks have accepted more than $50 billion in bets in 2022.

18% of adult US population will bet this football season

The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates roughly 47 million adults will place a bet on the NFL this season. That amounts to roughly 18% of the entire country’s population. Of those bettors, the AGA expects 49% of bettors to bet online, while 23% will bet in-person at a sportsbook. Here’s a breakdown of how people plan to bet this year:

  • 49% online
  • 23% in person at a casino
  • 13% with a bookie
  • 44% casually with friends
  • 27% as part of a pool or paid fantasy contest

Respondents were allowed to pick multiple answers for this question, which means some chose to gamble via multiple different opportunities. Responses came from over 2,200 people polled last month about their betting activities.

“The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility.”

Messaging about regulation and responsible gambling is resonating

Many numbers are on the rise when it comes to betting, but one number that is on the decline is the number of bettors who say they will use a bookie to bet. That number amounted to 18% in 2020, 15% last year, and is now just 13%. Of those bettors, half of them reside in one of the remaining states with no form of legal sports betting like California and Texas.

It appears messaging around the importance of betting with a regulated sportsbook operator is sinking in with customers as well. Nine out of 10 people polled by the AGA said it was somewhat or very important they do their business with a regulated book.

Messaging about responsible gambling, including the AGA’s own Have a Game Plan campaign, is making an impact as well. An impressive 90% recalled seeing messaging, while over half of the respondents reported seeing a rise in responsible gambling messaging.

“Responsibility is an underpinning of regulated U.S. sports betting and a clear competitive advantage as we continue to build a sustainable marketplace,” Miller added.

BetMaryland numbers reflect similar betting interest

Maryland is a state with retail sports betting, but Terps fans across the state are still waiting for online betting to launch. Recent news suggests that could come before the year is over. In the meantime, research from has gauged specifically how much state residents are betting already and looking forward to regulated betting online. Here are some highlights:

  • 15% of Maryland adults are already placing sports wagers in other legal states or in offshore accounts
  • 24% of Marylanders are likely to place bets once online sports betting is legal in Maryland
  • 44% of Maryland sports bettors plan to place bets at least once a week

This survey comprised just over 1,000 respondents and was conducted in May 2021, so numbers might have changed slightly since the launch of retail sports betting in the state last December.

Nonetheless, both the AGA and polls solidify what most already know–sports betting in the US is growing rapidly and bettors are eager for options.