Deloitte Survey: Sports Betting Fans More Engaged, Likely To Spend

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A new survey from Deloitte suggests fans are increasingly engaging with sports betting to feed a hunger for more connection to games.

Roughly 80% of fans who bet believe gambling increases the entertainment value of a game, according to the survey.

Average sports betting fans were also more likely to attend games in person, with 61% saying they have done so in the past year, versus only 44% of nonbettors, according to the survey.

Spending goes up with sports betting fans

Bettors were also more likely to buy team merchandise and season tickets.

This indicates sports betting fosters spending beyond app deposits.

“It’s always been anecdotally assumed that gamblers are more engaged and consume more sports content. Now, we have real data to back that up,” said David Jarvis, a senior research leader at Deloitte, who helped spearhead the study. “Hopefully that can help our partners and the broader sports ecosystem make more informed decisions behind their customers’ habits.”

Younger audiences embrace multitasking

Many fans, especially younger ones, are multitasking while watching from home, the survey found. They are increasingly looking for ways to augment their viewing experience beyond the traditional broadcast.

It found 77% of fans do at least one additional activity related to a game while watching a sporting event from home. Most of those fans identify as Gen Z or Millennials, according to the survey.

Multitasking activityAll generationsGen ZMillennialsGen XBoomers
Look up player/team stats44%51%49%49%34%
Read comments about the game on social media36%51%46%39%18%
Interact with others on social media34%44%47%35%19%
Watch another game22%21%30%23%15%
Bet on a website or app15%22%24%16%6%
Play fantasy sports15%17%25%18%4%
Purchase sports merchandise13%17%20%14%5%
Play a game related to the event11%22%18%7%2%

Balancing sports betting engagement surge, older viewers

Of course, not everyone wants betting to integrate further into the fan experience. Two-thirds of non-bettors said they are tired of sports betting advertisements during games. Among that group, most identified as Generation X or Boomers.

Per the survey, 11% of Millennials said they wanted betting integrated more into game broadcasts versus only 3% of Boomers. The most popular integration was more real-time statistics and analytics, particularly important to bettors.

Leagues like the NBA already rolled out alternate betting-centric broadcasts on their streaming services. Sportsbooks like Caesars have experimented with in-app NFL game broadcasts.

How to integrate wagering wisely

As fans indicate they want more interactive broadcasts that incorporate ways to multitask while watching the game, Jarvis believes the industry needs to tailor the consumer experience around a fan’s relationship with gambling.

“From a betting standpoint, we looked at what functionalities people wanted in streaming services as you develop more capabilities. Is it more stats? Camera views? Is it social media, betting and shopping integrated into the broadcast?” Jarvis said.

“It was a little surprising that people aren’t clamoring for it quite yet, but the multitasking responses and younger audiences’ habits, indicate that’s where we’re headed. It will be important for that experience to be tailored to the consumer that wants betting and the ones that don’t.”