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Home Gambling Industry One in five American adults now bet on sports

One in five American adults now bet on sports

3 min. read

A man taking a swing at golf.

A new survey by Pew Research Center released earlier this week reported that nearly one in five American adults placed a wager on sports over the past 12 months. The survey, cited by the Associated Press, found that 19% of respondents had placed a wager on sports.

However, not all sports bets have to do with regulated, retail, or online gambling. For example, many people placed bets with their friends or family, participating in private betting pools or fantasy leagues.

The survey focused only on the regulated gambling market for sports bettors and the activities that are not considered illegal under the law. No offshore sportsbooks or experiences were used as the basis of the survey. The survey included 6,034 adults who were interviewed in the period between July 5-17. Male were typically more active bettors and so were people under the age of 50.

The prevalence of casual betting was also there, with 15% of all respondents confirming to have participated in betting in at least of the three mentioned ways. Interestingly, only 8% of respondents said that they had a made sports bet in person, using either a facility such as a racetrack, kiosk, or casino. Another 6% said that they have bet online.

The survey further found that in terms of the total volume of sports gambling, 80% of the legal wagers were placed online in the United States. With the NFL season 2022 now underway, there are 31 states and Washington D.C. that make it possible to wager on the outcome of games legally.

The American Gaming Association already confirmed that 46.6m Americans are expected to place a wager on the outcome of the game. Interestingly, when trying to apply political views to betting, Pew Research found little evidence that one party or another supported betting any more or any less.

Interestingly, only 57% of respondents said that sports betting was bad for society, which contrasts with a recent YouGov report which found strong opposition to gambling internationally. Some 34% of the respondents said that sports betting was bad for society. These numbers changed a little when Pew Research modified the question a little.

Researchers sought to find out whether sports betting was good for the sports industry as such. Here, 49% of respondents were neutral and 33% argued that it is bad. Only 16% agreed that it is indeed a good way to experience sports and that it helps the sports themselves.

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16 Sep 2022
3 min. read
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