Legal Sports Betting Demographics Skewing Younger

Legal Sports Betting Demographics Skewing Younger

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, it opened up a whole new era in sports betting.

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Sports betting is now legal, in one form or another, in 21 different U.S. states. Eleven of those states offer full mobile betting with numerous options while some states, like Mississippi, offer in-person betting only.

The other big trend is a change in betting demographics.

Youth Gone Wild

In a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult, the betting public is getting younger. Respondents were asked if sports betting were legal in their state, would they place a bet?

Of those that responded “yes,” 38 percent were between the ages of 18 and 34. Breaking the survey down even further, 30 percent of current bettors – those who have placed bets already – are in the 18- 34 demographic. A full 50 percent of current bettors are between the ages of 18 and 44.

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For Richer or Poorer

This new demographic of young bettors is not as well off as the old traditional bettor. Younger bettors are usually not as far along in their professional careers when compared to older bettors.

Still, in year’s past young bettors were those that had the disposable income with which to bet. As recent as 2017, 29 percent of avid bettors under the age of 35 had household income of over $100,000. The national average – households with that income – is less than half of that 29 percent.

As it stands, prospective bettors – those that will place bets once it becomes legal in their state – are much more likely to be making less than $50,000 in annual income. A full 56 percent of prospective bettors made less than $50K compared to 46 percent of current bettors.

The bottom line is that sports bettors in the U.S. are getting younger and most do not have the income of bettors of previous eras.

Football and Basketball

In the same Morning Consult survey, respondents revealed that the NFL would likely benefit the most from legalizing sports betting. Over 2,200 adults were surveyed and over 500 said they would bet on NFL games if it was legal in their state.

Nearly 30 percent would bet on the Super Bowl and many others would bet on some of the more popular sporting events such as the World Series, March Madness, and the College Football Playoff.

Legalizing sports betting in states would also most likely increase viewership among sports. In a different survey, 92 percent of sports bettors said they are more likely to watch a game that they have bet on.

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The Future

There are five more states that have legislation in place that could legalize sports gambling in those states in 2021. Another 14 states could pass laws to allow sports betting in either 2021 or 2022.

As more states legalize sports betting, it is likely that betting demographics will continue to change. The average bettor will be more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 34 and be more likely to have less household income than bettors in previous eras.