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Supreme Court decision to lift the federal ban on sports betting has received the support of 85% of Americans



New research by the American Gaming Association (AGA) has revealed that American support for legal sports betting has increased significantly since the federal ban on sports wagering was lifted in 2018. The research highlights the following key findings:

  • 85% of American adults support the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), compared to 63% in 2019.
  • 77% of American adults now support legalization of sports betting in their state of residence.
  • In the past 12 months, 39.2 million American adults have placed a traditional sports wager.
  • 78% of bettors place all or most of their bets through regulated operators.
  • 77% of online sports bets are placed through regulated operators, a significant increase from 44% in 2019.

According to Bill Miller, President and CEO of AGA, American adults have always enjoyed betting on sports and greatly value the ability to bet in a legal market close to home. The rapid growth of legal sports betting, fueled by regulated and responsible entities, has led to the establishment of consumer protections and contributed to communities. It has also helped migrate betting away from the illegal market monopoly that PASPA perpetuated.

Since May 2018, Americans have legally bet $220 billion across the nation, generating $3 billion in state and local taxes. These funds have been used to support education, healthcare, infrastructure, and funding for responsible gaming and problem gambling resources.

The transition of bettors to legal sportsbooks

As the legal sports betting market continues to expand, it is attracting more customers and retaining them from illegal bookies and offshore operators. According to recent American Gaming Association (AGA) research, nearly half (46 per cent) of current bettors who primarily use unregulated operators plan to transition to regulated operators within the next 12 months. Additionally, 90 per cent of bettors who mostly place their bets legally intend to stay in the legal market in the next year. The top reasons cited by bettors for choosing legal operators over illegal ones include the confidence of payout (71 per cent), trust in account security and easier payment options (68 per cent), and the availability of responsible gaming resources (58 per cent).

Consumer Knowledge and Awareness

Survey results suggest that while consumers have a better understanding of the legal status of sports betting in their state compared to five years ago, consumer education remains necessary. According to the survey:

  • Only 29% of American adults are unsure of the legality of online sportsbooks in their state, which is a 45% decrease since 2018.
  • 70% of sports bettors who primarily bet with illegal operators believed they were exclusively betting with legal sportsbooks or splitting their bets evenly between legal and illegal operators.

Consumer confusion is partly due to illegal offshore sites misrepresenting their legal status by marketing themselves as regulated sites. Online sports bettors believe a site is legal based on a statement on the website (38%), odds being mentioned by the media (36%), and search results (32%).

“The AGA and our members continue to support responsibly expanding the legal market while cracking down on predatory illegal operators,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “The regulated industry and our partners across the entire ecosystem have made significant strides in our collaborative consumer education efforts since 2018, and we will continue to find new ways to enhance consumer protections as the market matures.”

At present, 33 states and Washington, D.C. have operational legal sports betting markets, while four more are expected to launch soon. Over half of American adults (57%, or 141 million people) reside in a state with legal sports betting. The AGA’s “Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly.™” campaign is uniting stakeholders in the sports betting industry to promote responsible gaming.

According to AGA research, Americans currently place approximately $64 billion in annual bets with illegal operators, a decrease from pre-PASPA projections of $150 billion. This 40% share of the market equates to states losing out on an estimated $700 million in tax revenue annually.

A national online survey was carried out by Heart+Mind Strategies from March 14-20, 2023, on behalf of the AGA. The survey had a sample of 1,066 general population adults aged 21 or over and a sample of 1,005 sports bettors. The data were adjusted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, and region, and the overall margin of error is +/-3%. For the purposes of the survey, sports bettors were defined as adults who placed a traditional sports bet at a casino, online, or with a bookie within the last 12 months.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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