Americans are embracing regulated sports betting in a big way as the 2023 National Football League (NFL) season gets under way. According to a recently released report from Geo Comply, a US-based geofencing firm, From the Sidelines to the Mainstream, 1.1 million Americans opened new sportsbook accounts during the first week of NFL football. It’s another sign that regulated sports betting is a massive business that’s here to stay in the US of A.
The first week of professional football is always a time when interest in the sport is spiking, but the addition of regulated sports betting to the mix has turbocharged that interest. This year’s excitement was heightened by the addition of three new states (Ohio, Maryland and Massachusetts) to the roster of states offering legal sports betting. Those three states alone accounted for 253,000 of the 1.1 million total. GeoComply officials say that next year’s NFL opener won’t be quite as intense for sportsbooks without the benefit of three new markets opening.
Regardless, 2023 will be remembered as a genuine feeding frenzy for sportsbooks with over-the-top moments happening almost continuously. For example, GeoComply reports that during the NFL season opener featuring the underdog Detroit Lions facing off against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, sportsbooks were processing 4,200 transaction per second in live betting action.
GeoComply CEO Anna Sainsbury commented on sports betting’s big week in a press release saying, “Consumer awareness around the security and fairness of legal online betting platforms has played a pivotal role in the responsible growth of the industry. While the increase in our transaction volume emphasizes the appetite for regulated online sports betting, our data also accentuates an urgent call to action. States without regulated online sports betting should get off the legalization sidelines and unlock their ability to protect consumers and generate significant tax revenue.”
The challenge for regulated operators at this point is keeping those new players engaged on a week-by-week basis.