AGA Research Reveals 73% of Adult Americans Support Legalized Sports Betting in Their Home States

  • As the US betting industry grows, American attitudes are changing toward the vertical
  • Around 73% support legal betting and nine in ten back gambling as entertainment
  • The vast majority of respondents also believe the gaming industry acts responsibly
  • The AGA has estimated even greater growth for US betting with the return of the NFL
American football with cash
According to new research completed on behalf of the AGA, around 73% of Americans support the legalization of sports wagering in their home states. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A fresh mindset

America’s sports betting industry has grown immensely over the past few years. A total of nine states have passed wagering bills in 2021 alone, paving the way for sportsbooks to open up within their borders. According to new research from the American Gaming Association (AGA), this expansion has accompanied a rise in the popularity of betting among American citizens.

three in four adults in the US support legalized sports wagering

The industry body posted the results of its research on Monday. It found that almost three in four adults in the US support legalized sports wagering within their state, representing a total of around 73%.

Added to this, the AGA research also focused on American attitudes towards gaming in general. Two-thirds of online poll respondents said they view the industry as a positive benefit to the US economy, while around the same number believe it creates high-quality jobs. Nearly nine in ten US residents see gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment for themselves and others.

A look at the other details

According to the AGA, its research suggests that the majority of US residents view the gambling sector as a positive and important contributor to their communities. It found that around 57% of Americans believe the gaming industry gives back to the communities in which it operates.

In addition, a significant majority of respondents agree that the industry behaves in a responsible manner. The number of Americans who believe operators are committed to responsible gambling has grown by more than 40% since 2018. Around 78% were aware of at least one responsible gambling resource.

Kantar and YouGov completed two studies for the AGA, both involving around 2,000 Americans and online polls. Kantar completed its survey between August and September 2021, while YouGov ran its survey in June.

Views on the industry’s commitment to diversity have also risen. Three in four respondents said the gambling sector provides equal opportunities to all of its employees, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Meanwhile, 78% agreed that the industry employs a diverse workforce, and 77% believe the industry caters to customers of all backgrounds.

More growth moving forward?

As attitudes toward gambling improve across the US, the sector is expanding all over the country. This is particularly true for the sports betting industry, which already saw $21.5bn in handle last year alone. With the recent return of NFL wagering, the AGA is anticipating even larger returns for sportsbooks over the course of the new season.

111 million American adults will have access to regulated sportsbooks in their home states

With eight more states legalizing sports wagering since the beginning of the 2020 NFL season, around 111 million American adults will have access to regulated sportsbooks in their home states this time around. As a result, the AGA has estimated that a record 45.2 million Americans will wager on the competitions, an increase of 36% from 2020. According to the industry body, the majority of this growth will come from the online sector.

Sports betting and iGaming are the fastest growing sectors in the US’s gaming industry. Already this year, the two verticals have made considerable growth from pre-pandemic levels. Sportsbooks took in revenue of $228.2m in July, an increase of almost 515% from the same month in 2019. Meanwhile, iGaming revenue grew 657% to $305.8m.