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It is a fact that the National Football League is America’s most popular sport by a wide margin, and gambling has contributed to its success. NFL and betting have been linked since the beginning and they still come together. Bettors like betting on sports and the NFL is their game of choice.
The NFL is to América like soccer is to Europe, although the NFL needs more patience of the fans to bear three or more hour games.
The good thing is that this sport has also repercussions all over the world, and this makes it a perfect venue for betting enthusiasts.
The regular season of the NFL ends with an event of great media impact: the Super Bowl. In this event, the winners of the two NFL conferences (East and West) play against each other for the title. It is one of the great sports events of the year and a great national celebration in the United States.
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The NFL was founded in August 1920. Today, there are 32 franchises in the NFL that compete in this football competition considered the most important in the world. Its repercussion makes it a perfect competition for betting lines.
In the early decades of the modern NFL, the only place where people could legally bet on the games was in Las Vegas. But this was not possible for those who did not live near Nevada, so some states sought other ways to capitalize on the growing popularity of the league, as well as the desire of fans to bet on it.
The Oregon Lottery launched a betting game called Sports Action in 1989. The game allowed bettors to predict every week the outcome of NFL games. If no player correctly predicted each game in a week, the pool moved on to the next week, creating sometimes jackpots of up to $100,000.
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The Rise of Internet
The great impact created by the arrival of the Internet in almost every industry in the world also closely affected sports betting. With the turn of the millennium, online betting boomed, offering NFL fans an easier, safer and more reliable way to bet on the league. Since then, the growth has been uninterrupted.
Even where NFL games do not play, betting on this sport is very popular., and the NFL is not limited to the United States.
In the United Kingdom, at least one regular season game has been played since 2007.
Sportsbooks stated they receive double the amount of action on games played in England compared to those played in the States. In 2014, a spokesman of William Hill told ESPN that the amount the British bet on the NFL increased by about 40% from one year to another.
Also in Canada’s British Columbia residents made more than a million bets on the NFL.
The Figures on NFL Betting
According to the American Gaming Association trade organization, in 2019 the number of legal bets reached a record high of $13 billion in the United States. This nearly doubles the 2018 figure of $6.6 billion, gleaning $118 million in tax revenue.
The national survey of expected sports betting activity for the 2020 NFL season made also by American Gaming Association, shows that an estimated 33.2 million American adults (13%) plan to bet on NFL games this year. Of these bettors, 34% (11.3 million) will place a bet through online platforms. 50% (16.6 million) will bet casually with friends, family, or coworkers.
A previous AGA research has also shown that sports bettors are more interested in the NFL than any other professional sports league. The NFL stands to gain $2.3 billion annually from legal sports betting, largely due to increased fan engagement.