By now, it’s no secret just how immensely popular the NFL is to bet on. Sportsbooks, bettors and the states which benefit from the tax dollars generated by their wagering scene eagerly anticipate September and the start of the NFL season each year.
The American Gaming Association predicts that 73.5 million Americans will place a bet on the NFL during this season. The NFL generally provides 60% of the revenues online sportsbooks enjoy during a fiscal year.
GeoComply, "the global leader in geolocation and compliance technology" is out with their tally of geolocation transactions ahead of, and during Week 1 of the NFL season. Week 1 of the NFL season generally gives regulators and followers of the legal sports betting industry a good indication of what to expect during the year.
The GeoComply study numbers are staggering for the 24 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico that were included in their report, and prove once again that the NFL truly represents the most important time of the year for the best sportsbooks.
The numbers identified by GeoComply
GeoComply, which tracks transactions in the blossoming legal sports betting industry in the U.S., compiled geolocation transaction numbers for the week of Sept. 3-10. The company was able to break down total transactions over that time as well as new accounts that were created during the one-week period at the best sports betting apps.
According to the records, an astounding 242.3 million geolocation transactions were reported over the seven-day period, which coincided with Week 1 of the NFL season. It is a 56% increase from the same Week 1 period from last year's NFL season.
There were a slew of new accounts that GeoComply was able to identify during the first week of the NFL season as well. According to the statistics, 1.1 million new accounts were created during the week, which is 40% more than during Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.
A deeper dive
GeoComply statistics enforced the popularity of mobile sports betting in the U.S. The company reported 97% of wagering transactions at betting sites between Sept. 3-10 came from mobile devices. 75% of those transactions were made on an iOS device.
Of interest, GeoComply statistics showed a quick and intense increase in betting transactions during the first quarter of the first game of the NFL season on Thursday Night. During the first quarter of the Lions/Chiefs game, transactions spiked to 4,200 per second, showing just how engaged fans were in not only that contest but the entirety of the Week 1 NFL schedule.
New markets focus
GeoComply was able to separate various states in their report of sports betting transactions during Week 1 of the NFL season. Their focus was on newer legal sports betting states.
Ohio sports betting, which went live with their sports betting platform in January, essentially missing out on the majority of last year’s NFL campaign, saw 133.000 new legal sports betting accounts created during the week of Sept. 3-10. The Buckeye State saw a whopping 19.4 million geolocation transactions during Week 1 of the NFL season.
Massachusetts sports betting, which launched its platform in March saw 59,000 new accounts created. Bay State bettors had their first opportunity to place a legal wager on an NFL game in Week 1. They responded with a reported 9.2 million geolocation transactions.
Maryland sports betting, which has been around since November combined to create a further 61,000 new sports betting accounts. 12.7 million transactions were reported in the state during the NFL's first week of action.
Other states missing out
GeoComply was able to track desired legal transactions that hopeful bettors tried but failed to place from states that currently have no legal sports betting platform. There were a host of people trying to place a legal bet from their home with another state’s regulated market but because of geofencing technology, were unable to do so.
From Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia, Minnesota, Alabama, and South Carolina alone, there were 1 million geolocation checks during Week 1 of the NFL season. They were attempted bets from these jurisdictions that currently don’t house a mobile sports betting scene.
The tax revenues lost from those failed attempts at placing a bet? $320.5 million. The study summed it up best by saying, "GeoComply’s data is a clarion call to lawmakers in these states to take action in 2024. Legalization is the clearest path to put the state in the strongest position to protect consumers, establish accountability and raise revenues."
The stats make the case for all states to legalize some form of legal sports betting. And it is tough to argue with their NFL Week 1 findings.