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There are reportedly 184 million fans of the National Football League (NFL) and a large number of them enjoy gambling, and now a recent Morning Consult survey done on behalf of the American Gaming Association (AGA) concludes that 46.6 million Americans will bet the NFL.
That breaks down to 18% of US adults betting on football this season, which represents a 3% increase from the prior year, a level of growth that gambling industry experts expect to continue as long as more and more legal markets keep opening up in North America.
Nobody could be happier regarding that good news than AGA president and CEO Bill Miller, a company leader who understands that these gamblers have always existed, they just had no truly safe way to place their bets until now, telling the media:
The sustained interest in NFL wagering reflects the growth and continued maturation of legal sports betting across the country. Consumers clearly want legal sports betting options and understand the regulated industry’s foundational commitments to responsibility.
The more legal sports betting markets that launch in the US, the less need there becomes for other options.
The anti-gambling forces like to argue that legalizing sports betting in the US will increase the number of overall bettors, but what they fail to realize is that these gamblers have always been placing bets, they have just had to do it in unregulated ways in the past.
For example, before May 2018 when the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA and left the right to legalize sports betting up to the individual states, American bettors would use unregulated offshore sportsbooks to place their action and just hoped that wins would be paid.
Illegal bookies are another way to place your action in the US, but according to the AGA survey, only 13% of those bettors plan to do so during this NFL season, down 5% from 2020 when 18% planned to place their sports bets that way, a clear sign that route is drying up.
Also according to that AGA survey, bookie usage is 50% greater in states where legal sports betting has yet to arrive, another indication that gamblers are now using those alternative methods of betting mainly as a last resort.
The start of the NFL season in September also marks the start of responsible gaming month.
For legal sports betting to work in the US, the inevitable increase in problem gambling that could result from such a market must be addressed, so the AGA is using September to highlight responsible gambling with a program called the Responsible Gaming Education Month (RGEM).
The AGA will use September to educate gambling consumers on the potential pitfalls of wagering, with CEO Miller making his organization’s commitment known to the media, saying:
Responsibility is an underpinning of regulated US sports betting and a clear competitive advantage as we continue to build a sustainable marketplace.
For more information on how problem gambling can be limited, be sure to read our past coverage on the issue in How to Gamble Responsibly, According to the Experts as well as What Sports Betting Companies Should Be Doing to Protect their Customers.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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