A new survey from Seton Hall University suggests more Americans are open to placing Super Bowl bets in 2021.
Yet while more Americans than ever have access to legal betting, fewer Super Bowl wagers are expected than last year.
More than 23 million Americans will bet on Super Bowl 55, per the American Gaming Association. Those bettors will wager $4.3 billion on the Super Bowl this year, according to the AGA.
Despite the 36 million Americans who gained legal access to sports betting platforms since last year’s Super Bowl, the AGA’s projections are less than last year’s forecasted 26 million bettors placing $6.8 billion in wagers.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to blame for much of the decline, with the success of mobile betting platforms providing a refuge.
Where Super Bowl bets are placed
More than 7.6 million Americans will bet through online sportsbooks, a 36% jump from last year. Just 1.6 million bettors will wager in-person at retail sportsbooks, a 61% drop.
The Seton Hall Sports Poll found 30% of respondents who bet in the last year did so online, with another 29% in-person. An additional 13% said their bets were through a combination of both.
“With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers,” AGA President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Miller said.
Legal access cuts down illegal activity
The AGA survey found significant drops in illegal Super Bowl activity:
- 1.8 million plan to bet with a bookie, a 21% drop
- 4.5 million plan to place pool or squares bets, a 19% drop
- 11.9 million plan to bet casually with friends, an 18% drop
But illegal activity is still around, as the Seton Hall poll suggested 28% of those who bet in the last year did so illegally.
Youth driving Super Bowl bets
The Seton Hall poll found 73% of adults would not place Super Bowl bets this year, down from 88% in 2019.
The 18-34 demographic is driving the change in attitude, with 60% never having placed a bet. That’s a sharp decrease from the 84% of those older than 55 who haven’t placed a bet.
Seton Hall marketing professor Daniel Ladik said:
“Through widespread marketing and partnerships with the leagues, legal wagering is working its way into the fabric of the sports universe at a rapid pace, particularly among younger people who have grown up in a digital world and are comfortable with online gaming options like DraftKings, FanDuel and any number of online casinos that offer a dizzying array of game and proposition betting opportunities.”