On Wednesday, the President of the United States said on Twitter that he finds it “hard to watch” the National Football League. Also on Wednesday, the U.S. casino industry explained how sports betting could increase NFL viewership, assuming the White House doesn’t end up undermining the sport completely in the years ahead.
According to the American Gaming Association on Capitol Hill, the NFL’s annual revenue may increase by $2.3 billion under “widely available, legal, regulated sports betting.” The findings came from a Nielsen Sports study commissioned by the AGA. The increased revenue would come from spending from sports books/casinos on advertising, data and sponsorship, and revenue generated as a result of increased consumption of the league’s media and “purchasing of products.”
Nielsen Sports found that “NFL revenue impacted by consumption” is projected to increase 13.4 percent, adding an additional $1.75 billion in annual revenue.
The NFL’s revenue in 2017 was estimated at $14 billion.
“Legal, regulated sports betting will create huge new revenue opportunities for sports leagues – and the NFL could be the biggest winner of all,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the AGA. “Once legal sports betting expands across the country, the NFL could take in more than $2 billion a year, reinforcing how much sports leagues stand to gain from increased viewership and private partnerships with sports betting operators.”
Legal sports betting is underway in fewer than 10 states, but the floodgates are opening.
There are calls on Capitol Hill for a federal regulatory framework that could potentially generate even more money for the NFL, but it could come at the expense of casinos. The AGA said that “new federal mandates are a nonstarter.” Under a plan floated by a top Democratic lawmaker, the sports leagues would be able to tell sports books what kinds of bets are allowed.
The more favorable outcome for the casino industry seems to be letting states have more power as it pertains to regulating gambling. For about 25 years, a federal law called PASPA unconstitutionally barred states for regulating sports gambling.
On a national basis, the sports betting market (revenue) could hit $6 billion by 2023, assuming more than 30 states have implemented the industry by then. That’s according to research group Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. The market could reach $15.8 billion if all 50 states have it, per Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. Deutsche Bank Securities in New York predicted that by 2023 there will be 13 states with active sports betting industries. Based on 13 states, the market could reach $4 billion.
The U.S. casino industry currently wins about $70 billion each year from gamblers.