According to estimates by the trade association American Gaming Association (AMA), the upcoming Super Bowl will invite about 18.2 million U.S. Americans to place a bet on the matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams via retail sportsbooks or traditional bookies.
While illegal sports betting is still an issue, Statista's Florian Zandt details below that a majority of U.S. states have now legalized gambling on sporting events.
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As the chart above shows, ten more states passed corresponding laws in 2021, increasing the number of states where sports betting is legal to 31. Among the newcomers are Arizona, Maryland and the state of Washington. While North Carolina has so far only allowed sports betting in Native American casinos, a bill proposing statewide legalization has already passed the state Senate and could become enshrined in law in 2022. The same is true for New Mexico, which hasn't officially passed legislation concerning sports betting, but some tribes do offer betting services under a Class III gaming compact.
Overall, 31.5 million U.S. residents are expected to place bets on the Super Bowl either officially or via private pools or casual bets between friends and family, an increase of 35 percent compared to 2021. Similarly, bets are expected to sum up to $7.6 billion, which is an increase of 78 percent from last year. Bill Miller, CEO of the AMA, shone a positive light on the developments concerning legalization across the country in a press release.
"Americans have never been more interested in legal sports wagering," he said. "The growth of legal options across the country not only protects fans and the integrity of games and bets, but also puts illegal operators on notice that their time is limited."