Legal Sports Betting May Add $2.3 Billion To NFL Revenues
If National Football League team owners want an incentive to support the legalization and regulation of sports betting, then they may have just received what they need. A new Nielsen Sports study, commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA), says that widespread sports betting may add about $2.3 billion for those owners to share.
The largest boost in revenues should arise from an increase in viewership and engagement, according to the study. It is believed that full-fledged legalized sports betting across the United States would the increase the NFL’s annual revenue from media rights, sponsorships and ticket sales by a whopping 13.4%. That alone adds $1.75 billion to the league’s bottom line.
Perhaps less speculative is that the spread of available, legal sports betting options will cause an increase in spending by sports betting opporators and data companies. The study predicts that $451 million will be spent by gaming operators on advertising alone, should the U.S. truly open up to sports betting beyond Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia, the jurisdictions wherein it is currently legal to wager on the outcomes of individual games.
Another $92 million is expected to be received by the NFL through a new sponsorship revenue stream, as well as a $30 million spend on data, all dripping down to team owners.
Add all the buckets together, and you get roughly $2.3 billion in new revenue, claims the AGA.
“Legal, regulated sports betting will create huge new revenue opportunities for sports leagues – and the NFL could be the biggest winner of all,” says Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the AGA.
The research relied upon to make the above referenced analyses is imperfect, but it demonstrates that sports leagues, and particularly the NFL, would be wise to think further on their potential gains from sports betting before taking reactive approaches that include demands for rights and/or data fees.
This is not the first time that Nielsen and the AGA have teamed up to opine on the sports betting industry. They recently released a report indicating that 71% of of individuals who currently bet with a bookie would shift either some or all of their betting money to a regulated market if given access to a legal platform. That same survey noted that 44% of sports bettors are adults under the age of 35-years-old, as compared to 31% of the general population falling below that age threshold.
These Nielsen Sports surveys are based on questions asked to more than 1,000 adult sports fans and self-identified sports bettors across the U.S.