Is Online Sports Gambling the Overlooked Growth Industry?

Retail and Consumer
3 min read

Image Credit: Joey Zanotti

Super Bowl is Set to Become the Biggest Legal Gambling Event in Football History


A record 31.4 million Americans plan to bet on Super Bowl LVI; that’s almost 10% of the population.

Expanded legalization of sports betting across the U.S., coupled with the ease of smartphone and online wagering, has made gaming a large growth industry. For investors, the sector offers tremendous expansion, high-tech innovations, increased adoption, and consolidation. Combined, this makes electronic sports wagering and related businesses something to pay attention to.

Take a look at how the numbers are expected to play out for just one big football game.

Super Bowl 2022

The 31.4 million expected to be wagered on the game is a 35% increase from last year. According to estimates by the American Gaming Association (AGA) bettors expect to wager $7.61 billion on this year’s game. In terms of dollars, they estimate a 78% spike over 2021s game.

The key driver for the growth in online gaming has been the surge in legal availability of sports betting.  This is a direct result of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows states beyond Nevada to legalize gambling on sports. Presently, 30 states plus Washington, D.C. feature live, legal sports betting markets, with three additional legal markets waiting to launch.


Americans’ Super
Bowl Wager Plans

  • 18.5 million plan to bet casually with friends or as part of a pool or squares contest, up 23 percent from 2021
  • 76 percent say it is important for themselves personally to bet through a legal operator, up 11 percent from 2021
  • 55 percent of bettors plan to wager on the Los Angeles Rams compared to 45 percent on the Cincinnati Bengals
  • 18.2 million American adults will place traditional sports wagers online, at a retail sportsbook or with a bookie, up 78 percent from 2021
  • Mobile bets make up about 86% of legal sports wagers


Aside from Super Bowl LVI

Revenue for sports betting in the U.S. reached $4.29 billion in 2021, up from $1.55 billion in the prior year, according to the AGA. Before the Supreme Court ruling, in 2017, the industry produced only $266.5 million in revenue.

Only a month ago New York made its debut allowing sports gambling on January 8, 2022. The state quickly became the top market in the U.S. About $1.63 billion in bets were placed over cellphones during the month in New York, according to the AGA. In New Jersey, the second-biggest market, there were $1.11 billion in mobile wagers in December; January’s figures are expected to be released soon.

Sports-betting operators have sought to acquire rival companies to scale up their businesses in the increasingly competitive industry. The companies are also spending billions of dollars to promote their brands to find an edge.


According to Bill Miller, AGA President and CEO, “We will see increased growth and increased opportunity for Americans to legally bet on sports.”

The ability to wager on a sport could include esports competitions, individual plays on the fly in televised major league events, professional bowling, and almost any other game that exists where there is a willingness to wager on an outcome. This industry is expected to not only expand as new states open, but it should also increase revenue as more spectators gamble on the outcome of individual plays, or periods, quarters, or innings within an event.

Paul Hoffman

Managing Editor, Channelchek

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