Survey Finds More Than 80% of Unregulated Site Bettors Unaware They’re Using Unregulated Sites

Research commissioned by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association (FSGA) also found that nearly 25% of US adults, about 60.2 million people, participate in online sports betting.
Survey Finds More Than 80% of Bettors Unaware They're Using Unregulated Online Sports Betting Sites
June 17, 2022

An incredible opportunity for increased consumer education and ensuring equitable state licensing structures that allow for open, competitive marketsA survey commissioned by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association (FSGA) found more than 80% of respondents using unregulated sites did not know that they were using an unregulated offshore site for online sports betting or daily fantasy sports (DFS).

The survey by research firm Leger found that, in states with regulated sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS), only 19% of unregulated users knew they were using an unregulated site, highlighting the need to educate consumers on understanding the differences between regulated and unregulated sportsbooks.

But the survey also found that in such states only 24% placed bets on unregulated sites. By comparison, 59% used such sites in states without regulated sports betting and DFS.

FSGA Chair Stacie Stern, who also serves as vice president for government affairs and partnerships at Underdog Sports, said the 19% mark “represents an incredible opportunity for increased consumer education and ensuring equitable state licensing structures that allow for open, competitive markets.”

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Increased Crossover Between Sports Betting and DFS

The survey, released this week, also showed that online sportsbooks and DFS had significantly increased year-to-year. Overall, 69.5 million US adults either currently wager on sports or play DFS.

Of the respondents polled, nearly 25% — approximately 60.2 million adults in the US — participate in online sports betting, a 20% increase from 2021 (50.8 million). The survey also found that 20% of adults (50.4 million) are involved in DFS, up 13.5% year-to-year (44.4 million).

FSGA noted that the 2021 participation rates were likely impacted by the pandemic and its associated restrictions.

Stern said one pleasant finding from the survey was that 59% of the 69.5 million adults who said they either wager on sports or play DFS — approximately 41 million people — do both activities. By comparison, only about 37.6 million adults crossed over from one vertical to the other in 2021, a 9% increase year-to-year.

“The expansion of legal sports wagering and the post-pandemic bounce back for fantasy sports is very encouraging to see,” Stern said. “I’m also excited to see greater diversity of participants throughout our industries.”

Stern’s last comment likely stems from another of the survey’s findings: that 34% of current sports bettors (20.6 million people) are women, up from 20% (9.2 million) in 2019.

Other Survey Findings

FSGA said there appeared to be “very little” cannibalization between online sports betting and DFS. The survey found that 98% of sports bettors who had participated in DFS before they started wagering on sporting events continue to play DFS.

The survey also found:

  • 31% of the handle from sports betting is from live bets
  • 63% of bettors place their wagers online
  • For sports wagering, the NFL is the most popular sport, followed by the NBA, MLB, and college sports
  • In terms of DFS, the NFL was also tops, followed by MLB, the NBA and eSports

According to the FSGA, the former shows that there is “significant room for growth” in the area of live bets, while the latter reveals online sportsbooks are the most popular way people place wagers on sports.

Leger surveyed 2,000 US adults over the age of 18 online between May 10 and May 25. The results were presented last week during the FSGA’s Summer Conference at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit.

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