Sportsbooks Hope to Maintain Week 1 NFL Betting Momentum
Sportsbooks Hope to Maintain Week 1 NFL Betting Momentum
Fans at Paul Brown Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

The summer sports betting slump is officially over with the start of the NFL season last week. Sportsbooks across the country reported a stellar Week 1 betting total and hope to carry the incredible momentum into Week 2 which kicked off with a thriller between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants on Thursday Night.

Four new states were welcomed into the US legal sports betting family prior to Week 1 of the NFL season, which could explain the spike in overall wagering activity. But some existing and reliable jurisdiction also saw year-over-year Week 1 betting totals.

Expectations are sky-high for the legal sports betting industry this fall, and so far, it hasn’t disappointed.

Getting Into Some Numbers

GeoComply Solutions, Canadian-based fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions company tracked the first week of legal sports betting transactions in the US market for Week 1 of the NFL season and they are impressive, leading to an overwhelming sense of optimism that the 2021 season is going to smash all record across the nation.

According to data gathered by GeoComply, there were a staggering 58.2 million geolocation transactions across 18 states and DC from Thursday September 9 through Sunday, September 12. That number represents a 126% year-over-year spike from Week 1 of last year’s NFL campaign when 25.8 million transactions were registered.

The number could have been higher if GeoComply tracked all competing jurisdictions. Their data has been collected data from 19 of the 26 states.

The Reasons

It is understood that the NFL is the bread-and-butter for the US legal sports betting scene. But there are other factors that have led to the incredible increase in wagering activity from Week 1 of last year’s NFL season to now.

26 states plus Washington DC now make up the US legal sports betting family since last year at this time – five have come on board just within the last month. Higher betting volumes were expected from this fact alone, but nobody could have seen the gravity of the spikes being experienced.

More exposure has created an overwhelming mainstreaming effect for the market, encompassing seasoned gambler as well as previously reluctant newcomers. Competing sportsbooks have also made it attractive to get in on the action.

Legalization Has Meant…

An unprecedented amount of bettors and betting dollars are flowing into regulated sportsbooks and away from the black market – thankfully.

“In what can only be a sign of dismal days to come for the illegal market, data compiled by GeoComply Solutions Inc. reveals that in just one-year, legal online sports betting volumes have more than doubled,” a company release stated. The combination of new sports betting states and American consumers migrating to legal sportsbooks has resulted in the highest four-day stretch of geolocation transactions ever recorded by GeoComply.”

The top 5 jurisdictions as far as NFL betting transactions in Week 1 were New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and Illinois. Arizona is a nice addition to the list considering it is the newest.

New Jersey, thanks to a boost from New York bettors was by far the highest. 12.5 million wagering transactions on the NFL were reported in New Jersey – 21.4% of the total GeoComply recorded. Pennsylvania was next with 19.8% of all the online wagers tracked for Week 1 of the NFL campaign.

NFL Could See an Even Bigger Spike

The US legal sports betting scene is prepping to welcome up to eight more states into their family. If they launch before the end of the NFL season, it is guaranteed to provide yet another enormous spike in NFL betting transactions.

Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Ohio, North Carolina and Washington DC are all in various stages of legalizing or launching their own platforms. A few of those jurisdictions are expected to be Heavy Hitters and perhaps land in the top-10 on the list of bet-friendly states.

Records, judging by the first week of the NFL season are going to be broken. The NFL, as the main driver of sportsbook handles and profits across the nation almost guarantee that. Look for incredible betting numbers for the US industry to continue through February’s Super Bowl and for GeoComply to continue reporting mind-numbing numbers until then.

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