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US – American sports fans call for change to betting laws

By - 6 February 2016

An overwhelming majority of Super Bowl viewers say it’s time to change sports betting laws, according to new research released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and reported by ESPN.

Further, 47m people have bet on the Big Game at some point, and an equal number say they have bet on sports in the past year. That’s nearly three times the number of people who attended every NFL game this season (17.3m).

The first-of-its-kind survey also found that two-thirds (66 per cent) of viewers believe the decision to legalize sports betting or not should be up to the states.

The research also found that regulated sports betting would protect the Integrity of Games: 65 percent of Super Bowl viewers believe transparent, regulated wagering will either strengthen the integrity of games or have no impact on game outcomes.

Over 70 per cent of Super Bowl viewers believe allowing states to regulate sports betting will make it safer for consumers; 68 per cent believe legal, regulated sports betting will generate tax funds for much needed local programs like education and public safety.

67 per cent of Super Bowl viewers say they’re more likely to watch a game if they bet on it. Most fans agree betting makes the game more enjoyable (53 per cent) and makes them follow teams and players more closely (55 per cent).

Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of AGA, said: “Following AGA Board’s adoption of a modernised approach to sports betting in November, AGA has begun to aggressively highlight sports betting’s widespread popularity and antiquated federal law that drives an illegal market which fails to protect consumers and the integrity of sports. Just last week, we released an estimate predicting that Americans will wager $4.2bn, 97 per cent of it illegally, on this year’s Super Bowl, which drove significant attention to the current state of sports betting.”

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