Football season is just around the corner, and fans are getting ready for their favorite team to take the field. As the season begins, more than 45.2 million Americans are expected to place wagers on the NFL. This is an increase of 5.8% on last year’s wagering, which is the first year-over-year growth in wagers since the first week of 2013.

The NFL continues to be one of the most popular sports in the world, and the popularity of the game has enabled the league to mint an impressive amount of revenue. Last year, the NFL brought in $14 billion in revenue, banking over $8 billion in profits. The league, along with other franchised leagues like the NBA and MLB, are able to do this due to the fact that their games are televised locally by the networks, and then nationally by ESPN.

The Super Bowl is the most watched broadcast in the history of modern civilization—how does one predict the upcoming pro football season, when the league will have next month’s biggest game broadcast in all of its glory? Taking the average of the top 10 bets made by gamblers in the NFL, the odds are that the Super Bowl will be broadcast in front of 45.2 million viewers in 2021—the widest audience in the NFL’s history.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 7, 2021 — According to data published today by the American Gaming Association, a record 45.2 million Americans (18%) intend to bet on the 2021 National Football League (NFL) season (AGA). This season, 36 percent more Americans will wager on the league’s games than previous season.

The growth of legal sports betting alternatives and greater excitement for the forthcoming season are to blame for this year’s dramatic spike in betting intentions. At the start of the 2020 season, fans in 18 states and Washington, DC have access to operational, legal sports betting. Americans will be allowed to make legal sports bets in 26 states and Washington, DC when the 2021 season begins, with five more states expected to provide legal sports betting by the conclusion of the season.

“Sports betting is more popular than ever among Americans, and bettors’ excitement for the approaching NFL season exemplifies the industry’s extraordinary rise over the last three years,” said Bill Miller, President and CEO of the AGA. “More importantly, when the NFL season starts in 2021, more than 111 million* American adults will be able to securely bet with licensed sportsbooks in their own states rather than the predatory illicit market.”

While NFL betting is anticipated to rise across all wagering methods in 2020, online sportsbooks are likely to experience the most growth, while illegal bookmakers are expected to grow the slowest:

  • In 2021, 7 million American adults would wager informally with friends on the NFL season, increasing 31% from 2020.
  • In 2020, 5 million people would wager online (both legally and illegally), increasing 73 percent from 2020.
  • In a paid fantasy tournament or other kind of pool competition, 6 million people will participate, up 69 percent from 2021.
  • In a real casino sportsbook, 5 million people will wager, increasing 58 percent from 2020.
  • 7 million people will place a wager with a bookmaker, up 13% from 2020.

According to AGA data, 37 percent of NFL fans intend to gamble on this year’s NFL season, including almost half (47 percent) of self-described ardent NFL fans. In addition, 44 percent of all Americans and 63 percent of NFL fans think that in-venue sportsbooks would enhance the entertainment value of watching live sporting games.


Along with the legalization of sports betting, greater fan excitement will fuel NFL betting this year, with 25% of Americans saying they are more enthusiastic about the forthcoming season than prior seasons, up from 18% last year.

Fans in the Northeast (21%) are most interested in betting on the NFL this year, followed by those in the West (18%), the Midwest (17%), and the South (17%). (15 percent ).

“Fans are the lifeblood of professional sports, and organizations like the NFL are tapping into the full potential of sports betting to increase fan engagement,” Miller said. “To seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the NFL and its 32 clubs must also recognize their obligation to educate fans and encourage responsible gaming.”

The Chiefs are the most popular Super Bowl selection (15%) among anticipated bettors, followed by the Buccaneers (11%) and Cowboys (9%). (7 percent ).

*Includes Arizona, South Dakota, and Washington, which are expected to debut in time for the NFL kickoff on September 9.



  • Since May 2018, the NFL and its clubs have established 52 data sharing and marketing agreements.
  • Sports betting is presently allowed in 32 states and the District of Columbia, with 26 jurisdictions having operating markets and seven more to follow. Sports betting is allowed in 16 of the 23 states that have NFL clubs.
  • In the first seven months of 2021, Americans legally bet over $27 billion on sports, earning more than $350 million in federal, state, and municipal taxes.
  • On a state-by-state basis, the AGA’s interactive sports betting map monitors sports betting legalization, including current legislation.
  • The AGA’s public service program, Have A Game Plan.®Bet Responsibly.TM, brings together sports leagues and teams, media, and gaming businesses to encourage sports betting education. The Washington Redskins are the campaign’s first NFL club to join.


Morning Consult conducted an online poll of 2,200 American adults on behalf of the American Gaming Association from August 25 to 30, 2021. Based on age, educational achievement, gender, race, and location, the data were weighted to approach a target sample of adults. The margin of error for the whole poll is +/-2 percent.

The National Football League (NFL) has become the most popular American sport, setting attendance records, television ratings records, and maintaining a global brand. Football fans are passionate about the game, and the NFL is not taking their passion for granted. The league is prepared to double down on football, and will be approaching its 100-year anniversary in 2021 with a target of welcoming 45.2 million fans to its gates.. Read more about american gaming association report and let us know what you think.

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