The US sports betting sector is huge and growing all the time, and at the heart of the success of the industry is the NFL season, running from September to February and generating interest around the world, as well as millions of dollars in wagers. So, what can NFL betting fans expect in 2022?
There is a tidal wave of sports betting momentum building up at the state level with sports betting sites in PA and NJ leading the way and it will be fascinating to see how this plays out at a local level.
More and more state governments are legalizing the implementation of sports betting in their state, whether through a referendum or by legislative action. It’s encouraging to see newcomer states such as Florida and California increasing sports betting activity after legalization. New York, the fourth-largest state in the United States, expects to go live in early 2022. Betting on the NFL is already legal in more than 30 states, and more than 10 states plan to allow it shortly.
The developments in the southern states are the most exciting. In 2021, states such as North Carolina and Georgia made significant strides in legalization. Even Southern Baptist strongholds such as Alabama came close to enacting sports betting legislation last year. Despite conservative resistance to gambling in general, it’s difficult to argue against the success of regulated sports betting in the 30-plus states that have already allowed it. If the Atlanta Braves win another World Series, sports fans in North Carolina and Georgia will be able to wager on it.
Sports, media, and betting
Sports networks, commentators, players, and fans have begun to see the possibilities for new, deeper activity and participation as NFL betting becomes more generally authorized. Those in the business have predicted the gamification of sports for years, but 2022 will be the year when sports, media, and mobile gaming all come together more comprehensively than ever.
The live sports sector is being hampered by declining viewership, especially among Generation Z. It could do with a dose of new thinking, and sports betting can provide the perfect opportunity for fans to interact more authentically with their favorite franchises through plentiful micro opportunities during a game. This will be most notable during NFL games, where fan engagement is at its peak.
Over the last few months, the development of new streaming bundles and non-traditional networks has set the stage for a sports betting-friendly media landscape. We can expect 2022 and the next NFL season to be the time when media broadcasters and NFL franchises can iron out some of the issues with streaming rights and real-time interactivity, bringing these together in new ways, which promises to produce a more exciting NFL watching and betting experience.
Cryptocurrency NFL betting
The likes of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum have been leading the wave of cryptocurrencies that have disrupted the global economy in recent years, and more will soon follow. So far, sportsbooks have been slow to take up the option of cryptocurrency betting, but that is likely to change in 2022.
In fact, within the next 12 months, we expect sports betting companies to make it possible for NFL fans to bet online using their cryptocurrency wallets, providing greater anonymity, speed, and convenience to the betting process.
Thanks to the start of the NFL season, in September 2021, New Jersey set a new record by being the first state in the US to record a $1bn sports betting month, a feat Nevada duplicated in October.
The Garden State went on to repeat the achievement in October and November, and we can expect this to be a frequent occurrence now that the high-water mark has been established, particularly during the September through January months when the NFL season is running.
Other states are likely to join in the billion-dollar handle rush. When Illinois’ in-person registration limitation officially expires in March, they may find themselves chasing New Jersey and it is possible that New York’s market will reach similar heights in 2022. In fact, it is quite possible that both New Jersey and New York will handle $1bn per month in the 2022 NFL season, based on their population sizes.
Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Colorado are three other states that could be in line to push the billion-dollar monthly handle barrier in the last quarter of 2022, and this continuing boom in sports betting handle can only be good news for sports bettors as sportsbooks compete for their NFL wagers.