The legalization of sports betting in seven states since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban last year has made it easier for more people to take part in Super Bowl betting.
An estimated 22.7 million adults will bet on Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
According to a survey by the Amercian Gaming Association and conducted by Morning Consult, about $6 billion is expected to be wagered on the Super Bowl, an increase from an estimate $4.8 billion in 2018 and a more $20 million increase from 2017.
But while legal sports betting is more widespread in the U.S. than ever before since the Supreme Court’s decision in May, there is still a sizeable contingent of gamblers who will place a wager illegally.
Of the estimated 22.7 million adults that will bet on the Super Bowl, approximately 1.8 million bettors will place a wager illegally, through a bookie or offshore online entities.
“The interest in legal, regulated sports betting in the United States has never been higher,” AGA president and chief executive officer Bill Miller said in a release. “More Americans than ever before will be able to place their bets with legal sportsbooks now operating in eight states, generating valuable revenue for state, local and tribal governments and increasing fan engagement with the game.
“These results, however, also point to the continued viability of the dangerous, illegal sports betting market in America. It is more important than ever for jurisdictions to enact sound policies that provide a safe, legal alternative with protections for the nearly 23 million Americans who will place a bet on the big game.”
According to the survey, 2,201 American adults in total took part in the survey conducted online on Jan. 22 with data weighted to approximate a target sample of adults “based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region.”
The margin of error is two percent among subgroups, according to the release.
One in 10 polled said they either have or plan to place a bet in some facet on the Super Bowl, which the AGA says equates to 22.7 million American adults.
Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they will bet on the Rams, with 48 percent favoring the Patriots. New England is listed as a -2.5-point favorite on SugarHouse, with the over-under set at 56.5 points.
Nevada was the lone state where gamblers could bet on the Super Bowl last year. But after the Supreme Court issued its ruling last spring, seven states (Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia) passed legislation legalizing sports betting.
Fifteen other states are either in the process of passing similar bills or seriously contemplating doing so. South Dakota is the most recent state to consider legal sports betting, with lawmakers introducing legislation on Monday.