2 min read

Legal U.S Sports Betting Soars During NFL Opening Week


The first week of the NFL season has kicked off, and in turn, has generated a record volume of legal sports betting in the U.S market.

GeoComply solutions, a Canadian tech company that provides U.S firms with fraud prevention and cybersecurity, tracked a record 58.2 million online transactions on Thursday through to Sunday, with sportsbooks in 18 states and Columbia.

The number marked a 126% increase from the same period at the start of the 2020 NFL season, where GeoComply processed only 25.8 million transactions.

The surge in figures can be attributed to New Jersey’s Supreme court victory back in May 2018, where now every state that wishes to legalise sports betting is able to. 

According to GeoComply, New Jersey had the highest number of sportsbook transactions, followed by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois.

GeoComply’s managing director of gaming, Lindsay Slader, said in a media release: “We expected high volumes, but what we have seen has surprised us nonetheless.”

“The data tells a remarkable story about the growth of the industry in a short period of time.

“The level of demand across new markets, such as Arizona, indicates that consumers have long waited for the option to legally place a sports bet,” Slander said. 

Arizona had launched their betting market only hours before the first game of the 2021 season, but nevertheless pulled in more than 271,000 newly created sportsbook accounts combined with approximately 6.1 million betting transactions over the four days. 

Spokesman Kevin Hennessy said:  “Arizona, in its first day on Thursday, had more wagered online than mature states like Michigan, Colorado and Tennessee at the FanDuel Sportsbook.”

Also amongst the biggest winners following the recent sports betting craze, are online betting sites DraftKings and FanDuel.

In 2020 Draftkings generated $614 million in revenue and expects to round this up to $1 billion this year, and FanDuel’s parent company Flutter Entertainment has said its 2020 betting revenue was $896 million, an 81% spike from 2019.

DraftKings sportsbook director, Johnny Avello, anticipated the surge telling ESPN on Sunday night, “It’s probably going to be one of our biggest weekends ever.”

Earlier this year punters placed a record $4.3 billion in bets on the Superbowl LV, making it “the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” as described by the American Gaming Association.  

According to the gaming association, 26 of the 50 U.S states have legalised sports betting.

It's free to join the team!

Join the most engaged community in the Sports Business World.

Get all the latest news, insights, data, education and event updates.