In nearly the blink of an eye, betting has become ubiquitous in American sports culture. It's advertised non-stop during games and has become nearly inescapable in mainstream media coverage. But what do Americans really think about sports betting?
We put together a survey of over 700 Americans to see what the people of this country really think about sports betting, if they've bet, and how often they bet.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the most interesting insights from our findings.
Sports Betting Statistics 2022
- 57.77% of Americans believe sports betting should be legal
- DraftKings Sportsbook is the most recognized sports betting brand in the US, with 50.5% of respondents saying they were aware of the brand
- 39.23% of Americans have bet on sports since the federal ban was lifted in 2018
- Entertainment was the most commonly-cited reason for placing bets, with 63.27% of bettors answering that it was among their primary motivations
- 51.64% of Americans said they would likely bet on sports if it was legal in their state
- The more money a person makes, the more likely they are to bet on sports - 54.39% of people making over $75K have bet on sports, while only 31.04% of those making less had bet
Majority of Americans Believe Sports Betting Should be Legal
As sports betting has become more normalized in the past several years, it's easy to forget that the majority of the country can't yet place a bet from the comfort of their own homes as most states have yet to fully legalize online sports betting.
But the American people think that should change - 57.77% of our respondents support legalizing sports betting unequivocally.
When we followed up that question for 'No' or 'Undecided' voters asking if they would be in favor of sports betting being legalized in their state if the tax revenue generated from it went to a public service, over 30% of those respondents flipped to a yes.
This means that over 70% of Americans would support legalizing sports betting if the money went to public service - a very strong majority.
Most Americans Want to Bet on Sports
One of the most interesting aspects of this survey was seeing just how eager Americans are to bet on sports. 51.64% of the respondents said that they would be likely, very, likely, or definitely would bet on sports if it was legal in their state. Another 14.55% answered that they would be somewhat likely, bringing the total potential player pool to 66.19%.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents would be at least somewhat likely to bet on sports if it was legal in their state
This is a really shocking, overwhelming majority when compared to the 33.81% that said they would be unlikely to or never would bet on sports.
With states like California, Texas, and Florida still not having legal online sports betting it proves that there is rampant demand to wager throughout the country. In a few years, we may have a nation where the majority of the adult population is legally betting on sports.
Why is Sports Betting So Popular?
Besides obvious reasons like the legal status and increased advertising, we also sought to find out why sports betting has taken such a hold in the culture. To do this, we asked the 275 respondents who had bet on sports what their primary motivations were for placing bets. We got the following answers:
- For entertainment - 63.27%
- To make money - 59.27%
- For social reasons - 35.27%
- Other - 8.36%
All in all, these results weren't particularly surprising. I know from personal experience that my preferred reason to bet on sports is to make NFL RedZone Sundays a bit more interesting!
Our team was a bit surprised by how many people's primary reason for betting was to make money. Sure, nobody wants to lose their wagers, but I'm not sure a financial advisor would recommend sports betting as a sound investment strategy.
DraftKings Retains its Crown as Most Popular Sportsbook in the US
With sports betting so popular in the US, you may think that many sportsbooks would be gaining ground and becoming household names. Surprisingly, not so.
DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook still have the greatest brand recognition in the business with 50.5% and 42.8% of respondents saying they were familiar with the brands, respectively.
No other brands were even able to crack 30%. Despite an onslaught of marketing, brands like Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, and PointsBet have yet to achieve the notoriety of the daily fantasy powerhouses.
Since launching as the first major online sportsbooks in the States in 2018, DraftKings and FanDuel are still the top dogs.
The Economics of Sports Betting
The economic divide in sports betting is a real thing. Of the respondents making a minimum of $75,000 per year, 54.39% had legally bet on sports since the federal ban on online sports betting was lifted in 2018. When contrasted with those making less than $75,000, we found that only 31.04% of eligible respondents had placed a bet in the same time period - a dropoff of nearly 24%!
59.23% of respondents that make over $75,000 per year and have bet since 2018 (130 people in total) bet at least once a week. When we compare that to those that make under $75,000 a week, we find that only 40.45% of the 131 respondents who fit into this category bet at least once a week - a statistical dropoff that makes sense. Less money earned, means less disposable income, of course.
Mo' Money, Mo' Wagers - People with higher incomes are more likely to bet on sports
As you may have guessed, gambling budgets increase with higher levels of disposable income. 73.52% of respondents who make less than $75,000 per year would cap their monthly sports betting budget at $250 per month. The higher income group feels a bit more comfortable as high rollers, with 47.69% feeling comfortable spending a minimum of $250 on betting.
So, from these results, we can glean that the more money a sports bettor makes, the more likely they to bet regularly and for big money
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people bet on sports?
39.23% of Americans have bet on sports legally since the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in 2018.
Additionally, 51.64% of our respondents said they would be likely to bet on sports if sports betting was legal in their state.
What is the most popular sportsbook in the US?
According to our survey, DraftKings Sportsbook is the most well-known sportsbook in the US.
FanDuel Sportsbook has reported higher percentages of betting handle recently, but DraftKings is still the most-recognized brand.
Does the public think sports betting should be legal?
57.77% of Americans believe that sports betting should be legal, and over 70% believe it should be legal if the tax revenue generated from it goes towards a public service.
Where is sports betting legal?
Online sports betting is legal in the following states:
- Nevada (at casinos)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island (state lottery only)
- Washington D.C. (geo-fenced to certain parts of the city)
- West Virginia
Additionally, sports betting will soon be legal in the following states:
This survey was conducted by Pollfish with a total of 701 respondents between the ages of 21 and 65, all based in America.
The margin of error on this survey is 4%.