Two-thirds of prospective bettors are men, Morning Consult poll says

Poll: Expansion Of Legal US Sports Betting Will Draw in Younger Bettors

Sports bettors

Legal sports betting in the United States will lead to younger bettors with less income, compared to current players.

That finding emerges from a new Morning Consult online survey on how legal sports betting will change the country’s economy and sports landscape. The polling group started the survey five days after the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, or the federal ban on single-game wagering outside of Nevada.

Once more states adopt sports betting legislation and technology makes it more widely available, Morning Consult’s survey indicates bettors will drop in age and income:

Prospective bettors are more likely to be age 34 or younger than current bettors (38 percent vs. 30 percent) and more likely to be making less than $50,000 in annual income (56 percent vs. 46 percent).

Overall, roughly one in five people expressed an interest in betting on sports once becomes legal in their state.

Survey reveals more demographic info on new bettors

Morning Consult surveyed more than 2,200 people over four days and found another shift in the makeup of new players as well. The survey defines “current sports bettors” as anyone who placed a wager within the past five years.

New sports bettors likely will be less educated than today’s players. The survey showed those with a high-school education or less (36 percent vs. 32 percent today) and those with some college (29 percent vs. 26 percent) will comprise the strong majority of new bettors.

Some groups remain the same

Political ideology among bettors still cuts across the spectrum. Republicans still make up the largest group at 37 percent of new players, but independents (33 percent) and Democrats (31 percent) trail closely.

Perhaps least surprising among the findings is the gender breakdown. Do not expect a sudden surge of women hanging out at the sportsbook: The poll shows 69 percent of new sports bettors will be men. That actually is down two percent from the current estimate.

Which sports will draw the most money

As always, football draws the most attention among Americans. NFL (24 percent) and college (14 percent) football top the list of which sports new bettors would wager on.

Taking out horse racing — which finished a surprising third, given the sport’s flagging popularity — next on the list is a three-way tie at 12 percent for the NBA, MLB and boxing. College basketball checks in at ten percent. MMA and auto racing grabbed six percent each, while the NHL and soccer both registered at five percent.

What events newbies will bet on

The Super Bowl remains king among desired sport events for betting, according to the survey. Nearly a quarter of respondents said professional football’s big game would get their money if they wagered.

The two tied for second place provide a slight surprise. The NBA playoffs and the World Series received 14 percent of responses as the most likely betting events.

College football and college basketball (notably March Madness) generate enormous handle in Nevada. However, the college football playoff (12 percent) and NCAA tournament (11 percent) lagged behind in Morning Consult’s polling.

Another survey shows different results

Deep Root Analytics conducted a web intercept survey of more than 2,100 people and found less willingness to try legal sports betting. Just 13 percent of respondents indicated they likely would place a bet, while another 14 percent were not sure.

The survey also found that only 12 percent of those polled made a sports bet in the past year, including office pools and friendly wagers.

For those who would wager, the NFL held the top spot for betting at 18 percent. College football checked in second at 13 percent and college basketball ranked third at nine percent.

Adam Candee
- Adam Candee covers sports business and news from Las Vegas. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun and KLAS-TV.