Morning Consult released a report that shows a dramatic uptick in participation in sports betting across the United States in 2021. The data confirms that the hefty investments of sports betting giants like DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, and Caesars will not be wasted.
The sports betting report based its data on a December survey sample of 4,224 adults 21 and older across the United States. Those surveyed were asked how often they placed monetary bets on sports.
Survey says: expect continued US sports betting growth
Of those surveyed by Morning Consult, 18% said they placed sports bets at least one time per month. These bets included:
- Online wagering
- In-person sports betting at sportsbooks
- Bets placed “with an unauthorized bookie”
- Wagers made in seasonal fantasy contests
In a similar survey in January of 2021, only 10% of those surveyed said they bet on sports each month. This represents an 80% uptick year-over-year in what are considered “regular” sports bettors nationwide.
While the number of respondents who said they bet weekly was a smaller percentage overall, the year-over-year increase more than doubled. 5% of adults in January 2021 said they bet weekly, while now 12% have said in December that they bet every week.
Surveyed adults were also asked whether they participate in sports betting at all. 25% said in December that they participate, compared to only 20% who said the same in January 2021.
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There were 32 total states in December with legalized sports betting, including New Hampshire. However, 11 of those states launched legal sports betting in 2021, which may have contributed to the increase in participation.
One interesting discovery involved the respondents outside of those 32 states. Adults living in states where sports betting is still banned were just as likely to say they wagered on sports as those in legalized states.
One possible factor is, if a state legalized sports betting in 2021 while a neighboring state still bans it, residents in the banning state may travel across state lines to place bets.
Younger Americans are particularly active bettors
Of those surveyed that were age 65 and older, only 5% said they bet regularly (at least once per month). 10% of those between 45 and 64 bet regularly.
Comparatively, 31% of those that were between 35 and 44 and 28% of those 34 and under said they bet monthly.
“Given the proliferation of online sports betting and operators’ focus on digital marketing,” the Morning Consult said. “It should come as no surprise that younger Americans are the most inclined to place wagers on games.”
Where, how, and how much regular bettors are wagering
Regular sports bettors who were surveyed most often said they placed their bets online or on a mobile device. Wagerers who said they went to an unauthorized bookie to place their bets were the smallest percentage.
- 56% bet via an online sportsbook or website for fantasy sports.
- 48% place wagers with co-workers, friends, or family.
- 23% bet in-person at a retail sportsbook.
- 18% use an unofficial “bookie” to place their bets.
When it comes to the dollar amount of wagers, almost half of those surveyed said their usual bets are $25 or less. Almost one-third of regular bettors spend $10 or less on each bet, and only 14% wager more than $100 on a single bet.
Sports betting companies report over $1 billion spent in 2021
While most bets being placed are modest, the number of regular sports wagers being made is steadily increasing. Additionally, new sports bettors are coming on the scene with regularity.
Marketing for legal sports betting amounted to $1.2 billion in 2021, which was invested by gambling giants like MGM, Caesars, and DraftKings. They focused a lot of their advertising toward residents in the states that legalized the practice in 2021.
The aggressive marketing approach by sports betting companies could be a big contributor to rising interest.
With 2022 underway, the popularity of sports betting is expected to continue soaring. And more success is expected for giants in the sports wagering industry throughout all upcoming sports seasons.