NFL betting continues to rise, but the league none the richer

The Oregon Lottery launched the state’s first betting app last week. Oregon is now the first state in the Northwest to offer online sports betting. They had wanted to launch the lottery mobile app for the start of the NFL season, but various technical issues meant it launched in week seven.

Last Sunday was the first time that Oregonians were allowed to legally bet on sports online. The state, with a population of 4.1 people managed to bet more than $500,000 with 16,500 signing up.

Despite a lack of NFL teams in the state, the league proved the most popular form to bet on. This is the case in most of the country, where US Sportsbooks have focused on NFL betting. In Oregon however, gamblers can only use the state lottery app called “scoreboard”. If you are based in other states where online sports betting is legal then you’ll have much more choice. The best sportsbooks in NJ offer a wide range of bets for NFL sports bettors.

Unlike Oregonians, citizens of NJ prefer to wager on the NBA. In the first year of online betting, they wagered $823,596,443 on basketball (this figure includes college basketball). New Jersians placed $200,000,000 less on football.

Betting on sports in the US has been on the rise since the historic decision by the Senate last year to overrule PASPA. The act had banned all forms of sports betting in the US, apart from specific locations – such as Las Vegas – and opened the way for online sports betting in the country.

Since the ruling, a number of states have legalized sports betting, but only a few have online sportsbooks set up in the state; New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana and now Oregon. Nevada officially has online sports betting, but you have to sign-up, deposit and withdraw in person.

It’s New Jersey and Pennsylvania though that are running away with the market at the moment. The two states have the least restrictive laws coupled with a sizable population and established betting trends.

Despite all this revenue filling the pockets of the sportsbooks, the NFL has not benefited all that much. Initially, the league had asked for royalties for using the NFL brand but eventually caved when the other major leagues did not pursue the same thing.

The NFL is now available with a number of sportsbooks all around the US. However, the NFL television contracts still prohibit the announcers from mentioning gambling. Until all the big states have legalized sports betting and have sportsbooks up and running, they don’t want to annoy any of the customer bases by mentioning gambling. They do make a bit of money from selling data to gaming partners. This extra income pales in comparison to other revenue streams.

We expect once the states, with a big NFL presence and population like California, Florida and Texas, the NFL will change tack.

Marcelo Villa

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.