In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal law that prohibited sports gambling. Since then, 31 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized sports gambling, with online gambling becoming available in 23 states as well as D.C.
As a result, participation in sports betting has increased, with 25% of Americans placing some sort of monetary wager on sports between January 2021 and January 2022.
To find out more about Americans’ sports betting habits, SportsBettingReport.com surveyed 1,250 adults who gamble on sports. The survey was conducted from May 6-7, 2022, and dove into how frequently Americans are gambling on sports, and how much of their money they’re willing to wager.
- Among Americans who participate in sports betting, 24% place bets daily, while 42% gamble on sports a few days per week.
- 39% of daily sports gamblers bet, on average, half or more of their monthly take-home pay
- 6 in 10 daily sports bettors say gambling is a source of extra income
- 80% of daily gamblers say the habit has a positive effect on their lives
39% of daily gamblers bet at least half of their monthly take-home pay on sports
Among Americans who bet on sports, the plurality, 42% typically bet on sporting events a few times per week. Twenty-four percent gamble on sports daily, while 23% bet on sports a few times per month. Eleven percent of sports gamblers only place wagers a few times per year.
When broken down by gender, 26% of women and 23% of men are daily sports gamblers. Men are more likely than women to say they bet on sports a few times per week (45% compared to 36%).
Of those gamblers who bet on sports daily, 39% say that they bet, on average, 50% or more of their monthly take-home pay. Ten percent regularly bet upwards of 70% of what they earn each month.
These numbers shift dramatically for those who gamble with less frequency. Among respondents who gamble on sports a few times per week, 1 in 5 are betting 50% or more of their monthly take-home pay; 15% bet less than 10% of their monthly earnings.
Among those who gamble either a few times per month, or a few times per year, only 4% are betting half or more of their monthly take-home pay on sporting events. More than half of these individuals, 56%, bet less than 10% of what they earn each month.
60% of daily sports bettors do so to earn extra income
For the majority of daily sports bettors, taking such a high percentage of their take-home pay and gambling it is, in theory, an investment. Sixty percent of respondents who bet on sports every day say it’s a source of extra income. Thirty-five percent say it’s their main source of income.
Whether the strategy pays off is, of course, left to chance. Twenty-four percent of daily gamblers say they win ‘frequently’ (75% of the time or more), while 50% report winning about half the time. Eleven percent win ‘rarely,’ and 1% ‘never’ win.
Forty-five percent of respondents who bet on sports less frequently are also interested in getting some extra cash in their pockets. However, among those who bet on sports a few times per week, month, or year, the main focus is fun, with 75% of gamblers in this group saying they do it because ‘it’s a fun hobby.’
80% of daily gamblers say the habit has a positive effect on their lives
According to the majority of sports bettors who gamble on a daily basis, the experience has been a positive one. Fifty-five percent of daily gamblers say it has ‘very positively’ influences their lives, while 25% report it having a ‘somewhat positive’ effect on their lives.
Fifteen percent say gambling daily on sports has ‘neither positively nor negatively’ influenced their lives. Five percent say the practice has ‘very negatively’ or ‘somewhat negatively influenced their lives.
As the frequency with which an individual bets on sports decreases, their ambivalence about its influence on their lives increases. Sixty-eight percent of people who bet on sports a few times a year say it has neither a positive nor a negative effect on their lives, as do 43% of people who bet a few times per month, and 22% of people who bet a few times per week.
Online sportsbooks the gambling venue of choice for sports bettor
More than half of all respondents, 57%, started betting on sports within the last five years. This coincides with the legalization of sports gambling in all 50 states in 2018. Twenty-two percent of individuals started gambling on sports after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
As a result of the nationwide legalization of sports betting, online sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesar’s have exploded in popularity.
Seventy-one percent of daily sports gamblers use online sportsbooks to place their bets, as do 80% of respondents who bet a few times per week, 69% of those who bet a few times per month, and 51% who gamble on sports a few times per year.
Traditional bookies are also popular among daily gamblers; 55% say they place bets with a professional bookie.
For those who only bet on sports occasionally, there’s no need to involve a third party. Sixty-six percent of respondents who only bet on sports a few times a year say it’s just casual betting among friends, families or co-workers.
Regardless of frequency, professional football is the most popular sport to bet on (63%), followed by major sporting events, like the Super Bowl, the NCAA college basketball tournament, and the World Series (55%), professional basketball (44%), college football (40%), and college basketball (33%).
All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by SportsBettingReport.com and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,250 American adults were surveyed. To qualify for the survey, each respondent had to participate in sports betting. Appropriate respondents were found via a screening question. This survey was conducted from May 6 to May 7, 2022. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey data, please email Content Marketing Specialist Kristen Scatton at [email protected].