NFL To See Rise In Sports Betting, Possible Cure For Declines In TV Ratings

With growing activity and legal sports gambling in states, NFL-related sports betting could see rising revenue -- as well as higher TV consumption. The NFL season starts tomorrow.

The American Gaming Association has estimated 45.2 million Americans could bet on the NFL this season -- 36% higher than a year ago. Of that 45.2 million, 19.5 million bettors -- legal and illegal -- could place wagers online -- up 73% versus a year ago.

Some $27 billion has been legally wagered on sports overall during the first seven months of 2021. This has produced more than $350 million in federal, state and local taxes.

The trade group projects that legalized sports betting will be allowed in 26 states and Washington, D.C. at the start of the season, and another five states by the end of the year. Sixteen of the 23 states that are home to NFL teams have legalized sports betting.



The survey, conducted by Morning Consult, was conducted August 25-30, among 2,200 U.S. adults.

In another report from Beacon Research, for sports betting company, 73% of respondents say they are more likely to stream or watch a game they have bet on, while 50% say they are more likely to watch additional sports news; and 55% they are more engaged with fantasy sports leagues.

Researchers say dominant betting platforms are DraftKings and FanDuel.

Analysts believe legalized sports betting will boost interest and TV viewership in NFL -- the top sport for sports wagering. In 2020, the NFL regular-season TV games were down 7% to a Nielsen-measured 15.4 million viewers versus the previous season.

In May, the NFL struck a massive, collective, $100 billion-plus, 11-year rights deals with Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN and Amazon that will begin next year.

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