Skip to content
Home > Sports Betting > Over a Quarter of Americans Place Bets Through an Online Sportsbook, Lab42 Reports

Over a Quarter of Americans Place Bets Through an Online Sportsbook, Lab42 Reports

Through increased commercialization across media and sports, the online sports betting industry is increasing its popularity

People running

Lab42 Research offers tailored, online quantitative market research solutions that can transform your proprietary data into more captivating digital narratives. They recently conducted a comprehensive study into the rapidly growing, online sports betting industry and we have tried to break down some of their key findings into why people do or don’t partake, the behavior and preferences of those that do and which sportsbooks are the most used and trusted. Over 1200 people were questioned, all over the age of 18 and all of whom resided in states where online sports betting is legal.

What was once something only allowed through in person sportsbooks or illegal bookmakers, sports betting is expanding across the United States. It is creating new opportunities for businesses and consumers alike. From online sportsbooks themselves to the commercialization across media and sports, it is becoming clear this industry will continue to grow.

Awareness and Participation

We exist in a time where we are being constantly bombarded by adverts. Be it daily through our TV’s, radios or via our social media platforms, and so surely everyone will have heard of Ceasers or DraftKings, right? Well, in states where online sports betting is legal, 92% of people were aware of the existence of online sportsbooks; however only just over a quarter (26%) of those surveyed said that they had placed bets through them. When the 26% were asked further what their motivations were behind placing an online bet, 80% said they do it for money and commonly referred to the convenience and comfort of placing bets through online sportsbooks as what they enjoyed most.

Among the 74% who do not place bets, they tend to fall into two categories. Those who simply don’t have the money and cannot justify gambling as a hobby, and those who do not like betting for reasons such as ethics, moral values, dislike for betting or sports in general or are unsure as to its legality wherever they are located.

With such a large percentage not using sportsbooks, one would assume that companies have plenty of opportunity for marketing and reaching out to new customer bases but that is only partly true. Of those who have not before placed a bet, only one in three people were open to the idea of doing so in the future. 

While only 26% of people place bets through online sportsbooks, it may be hard to win over those who don’t already participate as some have moral/ethical beliefs and have little interest in either gambling or sports. However, those who are open to betting in the future could be attracted through promotions and bonuses such as free bets or perhaps could be convinced via communications that focus more on the fun/social aspect of online sports betting.

Behaviors and Preferences

Looking further into the demographic of those who do place bets via a sportsbook and the motivations behind their choices, we can see that there is more diversity than perhaps would be expected. 40% of those who placed online sports bets are women, 18% are aged 55 or older and there is strong representation amongst African Americans and Hispanics at 21% and 16% respectively.

When analyzing the frequency and average spend we can see that 38% of customers are placing a wager weekly, whilst 12% of those questioned admitted to using an online sportsbook on a daily basis. When paired with the results from the spend, a little over half (52%) of wagers are less than $20 but with this average spend and consistent betting behavior, it is easy to see how the popularity of sportsbooks has grown so rapidly.

As was alluded to earlier on, some sportsbooks are way ahead of the rest of the pack when it comes to popularity and within the online gambling community it seems that FanDuel and DraftKings are leading the way not only in popularity with 89% and 86% respectively in regards to consumer awareness of the brands, but also in popularity for usage with 34% and 39% respectively. BetMGM came third in both categories and then it was the best of the rest between Caesars (58%) and Barstool (43%) for fourth and fifth place in regards to awareness who, interestingly, are struggling to convert their brands awareness into users as only 2% stating that they use either of these brands the most often.

There may be different reasons as to why some online sports betting users choose to use DraftKings or FanDuel as their most used online sportsbook. 80% of those who use FanDuel, choose them based on payout time. DraftKings however leads the way when it comes to choosing a sportsbook because of their user experience, reputation and the number of available betting options.

It would appear that the majority of people are loyal to their sportsbook of choice and the market is currently being dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel in particular. Whilst overall user experience does hold some importance for people, perhaps rival companies should be looking further into improving their betting options, promotional bonuses and free bets if they wish to make more of a foothold in the market, as these all scored highly amongst those questioned.

Impact on sports

Perhaps unsurprisingly there is a usage-based bias when it comes to believing the impact that online gambling has had on the overall sports culture. Those who use sportsbooks are significantly more likely to believe (69%) that sports betting has had a positive impact whereas 20% of those who do not bet consider it to have had a negative impact on the culture. What this positive and negative impact actually consists of however can only be speculated as no further questioning was done.

The same pattern follows when asked about integrity. Those who have placed bets overwhelmingly believe online sports betting has increased or at least seen no change to the integrity within sports since its legality; however, those who have not placed a bet are significantly (53%) more likely to believe that this has decreased the integrity in sports or are unsure of its impact.

James Fallows

James Fallows

A qualified sports journalist, James is more than familiar with all aspects of the gambling world. At The Curious Gambler, James is keen to delve deeper into what makes this billion-dollar industry tick and offer up some well-learned advice along the way.