Study: 2 in 3 Sports Fans Want Betting Integrated into Game Day Experiences

Ahead of the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), GlobalWebIndex, the leading supplier of digital consumer insights to the global marketing industry, and The Action Network, the most trusted source for sports betting news and insights, announced the findings of a robust baseline study on sports betting interest in the United States.

To date, ten states have legalized sports betting, and additional states are in the process of doing so. In the twelve months since the PASPA repeal allowed states to legalize sports betting, 68% of sports fans placed a bet, or would have placed a bet if it were legal in their state. The study also suggests mobile will play a crucial role in the continued growth of sports betting and its impact on sports networks, as 67% of sports fans are interested in betting being integrated into live viewing experiences.

Sports betting is a potential boon to established and emerging sports leagues:

  • The majority of sports fans would place a bet on the leagues they support – NBA fans are most likely to do so (88%), followed by NFL fans (86%), eSports fans (86%) and MLB fans (81%).
  • The NBA also outranks other leagues for consumer interest in player-specific bets – nearly half of sports fans (47%) would place a prop bet on Kevin Durant, 41% on Stephen Curry and 37% on James Harden.
  • Sports betting increases gameday investment and engagement – 60% of respondents say they would be more likely to watch a game they bet on.

“In the year since sports betting has been legal in the United States, we’ve seen an explosion of fan engagement and growing revenue potential for rights holders, teams and leagues,” said Patrick Keane, CEO of The Action Network,“As the study confirms, sports fans want better information and insights, and they want to bet legally, conveniently and on their phones.”

Sports Bettors Seek Real-Time Engagement Online & on Mobile

Sports betting has the potential to complement game viewership as fans increasingly tap the power of mobile as their betting habits increase.

  • The majority of sports fans seek real-time betting opportunities — the most interested being 78% of NCAAB fans who say they would place a bet while watching college basketball, followed by fans of NCAAF (75%), MLB (75%), NFL (73%) and NBA (73%).
  • Mobile betting products are rising in importance — 80% of respondents say they would prefer to bet via app or website, compared to 50% who would bet in-person.
  • Sports fans desire specialized apps — 55% are interested in using a mobile app primarily focused on sports betting, with NHL fans (67%) and NBA fans (61%) the most interested.
  • Mobile betting is likely to boost gameday viewership — 54% of sports fans say if they placed a bet, they would be more likely to follow the game through a sports news app or gambling app.
  • In-app game streaming supports real-time betting — 44% of sports fans say that, if possible, they would place a bet while following a game in-app.

“As the legalization of sports betting continues to spread throughout the U.S., our insights suggest mobile will become a predominant channel of engagement,” said Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GlobalWebIndex. “The ubiquity of mobile streaming, in general, leads consumers to expect and demand that what they watch on TV can be continued seamlessly on-the-go; the same need is now being applied to sports betting as fans want to stay invested no matter where they are.”


GlobalWebIndex surveyed 3,057 U.S. internet users aged 21-64 between April 17-30, 2019. 1,069 of the respondents self-identified as ‘sports fans’ by selecting 8-10 on a 0-10 scale of their interest in sports. Surveys were collected via mobile, desktop, laptop or tablet.

Authored by: Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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