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More than 50m US adults are expected to bet on the upcoming Super Bowl, according to a new American Gaming Association study.

The projected 50.4m American adults set to wager on Super Bowl LVII represents 20% of the adult population. This reflects a 61% increase from the previous record set ahead of last year’s game.

Bettors plan to wager an estimated $16b on Super Bowl LVII across all options, both regulated and unregulated, per the AGA, more than double last year’s estimates. The survey found the same percentage, 44%, of bettors expect to wager on the Philadelphia Eagles as will bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.

The AGA study follows a recent Eilers & Krejcik survey that projects more than $1bn will be wagered through legal sportsbooks on Super Bowl LVII.

The Super Bowl is perenially the most wagered-upon individual sporting event in the US. Many leading sportsbooks offer 2,000 or more bets on the game, including props permitted in certain states such as the result of the coin toss or the color of the Gatorade traditionally dumped on the winning coach.

The AGA survey found traditional sportsbook wagers such as pointspread or moneyline bets are expected to pass casual bets such as Super Bowl squares.

Around 30m American adults will place a traditional sports wager at a retail sportsbook or with a bookie, up from 66% last year. About 28m plan to bet with friends as part of pools or squares contests, a 50% increase from 2022.

“Every year, the Super Bowl serves to highlight the benefits of legal sports betting: bettors are transitioning to the protections of the regulated market, leagues and sports media are seeing increased engagement, and legal operators are driving needed tax revenue to states across the country,” said AGA President Bill Miller in a statement.

The survey was conducted online in conjunction with Morning Consult between Jan. 31 and Feb 1. among a sample of 2,199 adults.

More Super Bowl betting details

The growth in Super Bowl betting comes as an increasing number of bettors have access to legal sportsbooks and industry stakeholders look to hone their responsible gambling measures ahead of the nation’s biggest sports gambling day of the year.

More than seven in 10 traditional Super Bowl bettors report seeing a responsible gaming message in the last year, according to the AGA. The study found Americans age 35 and under are more likely than bettors overall to recall seeing a responsible gaming message and say it is important to wager with regulated sportsbooks.

Despite the proliferation of legal betting options, the majority of bets placed in America on the Super Bowl – and sports overall- are projected to be placed with unlicensed bookies or unregulated offshore sites.

“As interest in legal sports betting continues to expand, the gaming industry remains committed to responsibly delivering world-class entertainment, educating consumers about how to bet responsibly, and combating illegal gambling as we work to build a safe, competitive and sustainable legal market for all,” Miller said.

US sports betting growth

Thirty-three states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC will take bets on Super Bowl LVII. Ahead of Super LII in 2018, only Nevada accepted legal sports bets.

Nebraska and Maine have also legalized sports betting but are not set to open their first sportsbooks in time for this year’s Super Bowl. Massachusetts has three retail sportsbooks open now but won’t launch mobile books until March.

Since last year’s Super Bowl, Ohio, Maryland and Kansas have started taking online sports bets. Online wagering makes up more than 90% of total handle in states that have both mobile and in-person options.

Texas, Minnesota, Missouri and Georgia are among states considering sports betting legalization measures this year. Industry experts believe at least 40 states with have some form of legal sports betting by 2025.

As of this year’s Super Bowl, 146m or 57% of American adults live in states with live, legal sports betting markets, per the AGA.

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