Why Is Sports Betting on the Rise in 2022?

The surge in sports betting in 2022 can be attributed to several factors. Since the start of the year, there has been a steady increase in the number of sportsbook licenses granted in the USA and Canada.

According to experts, over 110 million Americans have gained access to online sports betting apps since the federal ban was lifted in 2018. Additionally, 50 million Americans now have access to physical sportsbooks. In Canada, the sports betting market is also growing rapidly after the ban on single-game sports betting was lifted in August 2021.

Exploring New Territory

One of the main reasons for the rise in Canada sports betting is the fact that it is still relatively uncharted territory. Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) has already approved the applications of four major sportsbooks, and the legalization of online betting in the province is expected to happen in April 2022.

In the USA, sports betting is only legal in 29 states, leaving 31 states in the process of legalizing it. Recently, mobile sportsbook apps became available in New York, and Ohio is also expected to follow suit soon. Governors in other states, like Florida, are hurrying to overcome legal obstacles in order to tap into the lucrative sports betting market.

Support from Sports Leagues

Major sports leagues in the USA, including the NHL and NBA, view fantasy sports betting as a way to strengthen their connection with fans on both sides of the border. These leagues have official business partnerships with companies like MGM Resorts, FanDuel, William Hill, and Caesars Entertainment.

A Shift from Complicated Bets

In Canada, prior to August 2021, betting options were limited to parlays and horse racing. However, realizing the potential revenue loss, local sportsbooks advocated for the legalization of single-game bets. As of February 2022, all provinces have legalized single-game bets, with Ontario and Alberta allowing third-party sportsbooks. An advertising campaign is also necessary, as less than 20% of Canadians are aware they can bet on single games.

Expensive Primetime Commercials

Sportsbooks and online casinos in the United States invest millions of dollars in primetime commercials. However, concerns have been raised about the impact of these commercials on young sports fans. Complaints have been filed with the federal telecommunications watchdog, leading to limitations on the number of commercials allowed during NFL games. As a result, the average price of primetime gambling commercials has significantly increased.

Understanding the Audience

Sports media companies like Barstool Sports, Fox Bet, and ESPN operate multiple sportsbooks across the USA. However, they recognize that not all sports fans are interested in betting. According to an NFL survey, only around 40% of their fans are occasional bettors, while 20% are firmly against gambling.

The NBA’s Approach

In response to these findings, the NBA has launched special media content for gamblers, such as the NBABet Stream. This approach ensures that non-gambling fans of the league are exposed to fewer gambling commercials during game breaks.