PlayUSA Rewind: AGA says 45 Million Americans Will Place An NFL Sports Bet

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on September 9, 2021

We have arrived at the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Strap in because over the next 17 weeks there will be an abundance of NFL content floating around the gambling space. Our job will be to fill you in on interesting stories and hot takes making the rounds.

This week, the American Gaming Association (AGA) gives us a glimpse of how many Americans are expected to place bets this season. Also, we provide a brief update on Washington State sports betting and sports merchandise brand Fanatics prepares for its anticipated IPO.

For even more coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the rewind:

How many Americans are expected to wager on the NFL?

According to the AGA, roughly 45.2 million Americans are expected to wager on the 2021 NFL season.

The AGA research points to a 36% increase from the 2020 season.

Fans in 27 jurisdictions, Washington, DC included, will have the chance to participate in the NFL betting season this year. Additionally, five more states are expected to join the fold by the end of the year.

It’s expected that 5 million Americans will place a bet through online platforms (legal and illegal), up 73% from 2020.

Additionally, 63% of NFL fans believe sportsbooks at NFL stadiums will add entertainment value to in-person sporting events. Thus far, Americans have wagered $27 billion on sports in the first seven months of 2021 — generating $350 million in federal, state, and local taxes.

The takeaway: As more and more states embrace sports betting, we can expect the number of Americans placing bets to increase. Although 45 million seems high, it’s only going to get larger over the next five years.

Fanatics the next publically traded sports betting operator?

You may know Fanatics as a global sports merchandise company, but lately, the company has shown interest in the sports betting industry.

Not only has Fanatics attracted investors like Jay-Z and obtained the trading card rights for Major League Baseball, but they are also part of a super-bid to operate NY sports betting.

But there’s more!

The company also secured an $18 billion valuation ahead of its expected IPO. Fanatics hopes it can leverage its 80 million user base similar to DraftKings ($DKNG) and Rush Street Interactive ($RSI), which have since become publicly traded companies.

The takeaway: The playbook is there. DraftKings paved the way for companies like Fanatics to pivot their sales models and capitalize on the legalization of sports betting. Fanatics has the user base, the brand name, and investor profile to do big things.

Washington State sports betting update

Tribal sports betting in Washington State is expected to begin with nine tribes plus an additional seven by year’s end.

Per rules approved by the state legislature, there will be no mobile sports betting, and all bets must be placed on tribal land. However, language allows for online betting similar to Mississippi, where online bets can be placed anywhere inside a casino.

The nine casinos approved are:

  • Cowlitz Tribe – Ilani Casino Resort
  • Lummi Nation – Silver Reef Casino
  • Puyallup Tribe of Indians – Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino 
  • Suquamish Tribe – Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort 
  • Stillaguamish Tribe – Angel of the Winds Casino 
  • Squaxin Island Tribe – Little Creek Casino and Resort 
  • Spokane Tribe – Spokane Tribe Casino and Chewelah Casino 
  • Snoqualmie Indian Tribe – Snoqualmie Casino 
  • Tulalip Tribes – Tulalip Resort Casino 

Is Nevada convention season going mask-free?

Our last story involves the revolving door of mask mandates in Nevada.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, conventions in Las Vegas can be mask-free if attendees are fully vaccinated.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak added conventions to his emergency directive saying his policy gives the power to convention organizations to determine mask mandates regardless of vaccination status.

In a statement, Meghin Delaney, communications director for the governor, said:

“This policy expansion gives an option for convention organizers to choose between requiring masks indoors for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status, or ensuring that all attendees are vaccinated, in which case fully-vaccinated attendees can remove their masks.”

The takeaway: While other states like Illinois are reinstating mask mandates while indoors, it appears Nevada is taking a different route and giving power to organizations hosting the events.

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Remember to follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for even more insights.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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