The coronavirus pandemic has given the world pause to reflect on what’s most important in their our lives, and research suggests the 2020 NFL season is what many have been yearning for.
A survey conducted by the American Gaming Association suggests more than one in 10 adults in the United States intend to bet on the 2020 NFL campaign, which was lucky to avoid any virus-related delays and kicked off as scheduled in early September.
A total of 33.2 million Americans (roughly 13% of the population) are expected to place wagers on the sport this year. Of that number, 11.3 million are expected to bet—either legally or illegally—through an online service, an increase of 29% from the previous NFL campaign.
The gambling landscape in the United States has rapidly changed since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was repealed in 2018, with more and more states altering legislation to legalize sports betting within their borders. The American Gaming Association reported in September 2018 that the NFL stands to gain $2.3 billion more annually due to legalized sports betting, largely thanks to increased fan engagement.
According to the latest report, casual bettors stand to take a step back from gambling following the coronavirus. The number of people who intend to gamble via pools, fantasy contests, and squares is protracted to fall to 8.3 million—26% of expected bettors—down 5% on 2019. Last year, 53% showed intent to “bet casually with friends, family, or coworkers,” but that number has dropped by 3% to 16.6 million.
The survey would suggest those with a tentative interest in the NFL are prepared to take a step back from the hobby, possibly as a result of their priorities changing in the wake of the illness.
However, the same can’t be said for regular gamblers around the sport, who appear more motivated than ever to risk their money on one of the world’s most popular betting sports.