A new study commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA) suggests that the NFL, the biggest enemy of American sports betting, couldĀ  reap major rewards if sports betting was legalized.

The study, which was actually conducted by Nielson Sports, is titled Legal Sports Betting:What it Would Mean for NFL TV Partners and Advertisers, and is clearly meant to promote the AGA’s pro-sports betting agenda.

That said, the study did offer some food for thought for the NFL’s decision makers.

In particular, it found that while sports bettors don’t currently constitute a majority of NFL viewers, only about 25 percent, they watch 47 percent of all minutes of NFL games.

Nielson goes on to suggest that a regulated sports betting environment would increase the percentage of punters to 36 percent of the audience. Those bettors would consume around 56 percent of all NFL minutes.

Not only do sports bettors consume more NFL than other fans, they talk about football more on social media. According to the study, people who wager on NFL games are 65 percent more likely to talk about the game on social media than those who abstain.

Of course lifting the US sports betting prohibition would also put plenty of dollars in the pockets of American tax collectors. Nielson says that currently, around $90 billion dollars is wagered each season on NFL and college football. Around $88 billion of that is wagered on the black market.

Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA summed up the whole mess quite succinctly saying, “The federal government ban on sports betting is failing miserably.”

He’s right, of course, but getting the powerful NFL to see the light will likely take more than one study, no matter how stunning the numbers it presents happen to be.


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