Survey says gambling could be worth $2.3 billion per year for NFL

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For years, the NFL tried to keep all topics gambling at arm’s length. The perception has changed, and even if it’s not a full-blown embrace yet, it’s clear that attitudes have warmed.

That has happened for the one reason that always moves the NFL — money.

According to Darren Rovell of, a Nielsen survey commissioned by the American Gaming Association estimates gambling could eventually be worth $2.3 billion per year.

The survey of fans projected that the boost would come from increased interest from fans, which translates to higher media rights and sponsorships.

The report’s projections are based on a “fully mature” sports gambling market, which we are years away from at this point. So far, since a Supreme Court ruling allowed states to make their own gambling policies, four states have opened to sports gambling — Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia and Mississippi.

Eventually, more states will follow suit, as the potential revenue will climb to the point the league can no longer leave such a pile of money alone.

15 responses to “Survey says gambling could be worth $2.3 billion per year for NFL

  1. The NFL is trying to save its product. That is the bottom line. If this gambling thing doesn’t help revenues, the league and especially players are in for a rude awakening. All these big money contracts are counting on an increase in the cap. The cap is tied to revenues. Revenues are sinking. If the profits crash, so does the cap. If a rising ship means more money for player salaries, what does a sinking ship represent? At this point, the NFL has problems and the players aren’t lifting a finger to help. In fact, many players are part of the problem.

  2. I guess this means the owners will give Goodell a raise, maybe even a sliding percentage of all gambling profits each year the profits increase. Will the commish one day take home more than Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who today is only worth around $160 billion dollars?

    For what it’s worth, $160 billion is the equivalent of 160,000 million dollars. That’s remarkable… to be worth 160,000 x $1,000,000.

  3. It could also lead to a loss of 2.3 Billion a year if fans think when they lose a bet that they are not wrong the NFL is rigged.

    I think the NFL is sliding down a slippery slope with this move. The public is not very self accountable these days. Everything is “somebody elses fault.” I don’t feel this we very well thought out. It’s one thing to allow betting. It’s an entirely different thing to put your literal stamp on it.

  4. shlort says:
    September 5, 2018 at 10:04 am
    The NFL is trying to save its product. That is the bottom line. If this gambling thing doesn’t help revenues, the league and especially players are in for a rude awakening.



  5. Is Rovell setting the line. I’ll take the over. Way underselling it.

    From an old Forbes story from about 2014 when they redid the tv deals it says including deals with the 3 free networks, espn,, westwood 1 radio, and some minor players, the league would pull in about 7 billion. Now, this is before the new fox Thursday deal of course, and money may go up in the future, it usually does, BUT, to pull in an extra 2-3 billion off of that 7 number, I would think you’d need an increase in the 30-50 percent range, and that is a mighty big number. You also have to discount the zero increase from people already betting legally, illegally, or in a gray area, because while they may want to bet more often, on more things, they probably can’t watch much more than they are already if they already bet and watch TNF, SNF, and MNF. Same with the fantasy guys, more bets, different bets, but maybe not the increased views. Your real chance for viewer increase is in the current non-fans buying that ten team (game) lotto ticket each week, but then 99% of them bailing once they lose an early game.

  6. Some of their projections are incredibly rosy. It estimates game attendance will increase by 6% when there is absolutely no reason for bettors to attend games–if I’ve got money on games I’ll be monitoring things at home where I can watch multiple games rather than hoping the stadium WiFi holds up as I’m stuck watching a single game in person. I’d bet increased betting would actually DECREASE attendance in the long term–certainly not increase it.

  7. When I think of the NFL and gambling, I am reminded of comic Steve Martin when he would wave “no” to the audience members (who were clapping) with one hand, and wave “more” to them with the other one.
    The NFL has been making millions from gambling for years. Who are they trying to kid?
    Remember — CBS had Jimmy The Greek as their handicapper for years until he got drunk one night and someone shoved a mic in his face and he said some things which no one wanted to hear (but had SOME truth to them).
    So give me a break! The NFL is about one thing and one thing only — money. Anyone who says otherwise is either a liar or just plain stupid.

  8. “Eventually, more states will follow suit”

    The day after the ruling legalizing sports gambling throughout the US the governor here in RI had a commission in place to study what it will take to get it up and running. We already have a couple minor league casinos in state.

    I would expect either by the middle of this season or certainly for next year RI will have sports gambling in place.

  9. The greed is overwhelming. This is why Goodell fixes the SB for a team like Philly. A dominant team like NE is bad for parity and the overall ROI of the league’s “investments”, including expanding into Europe and likely China, regardless of the quality of the product.

  10. This whole thing is silly-

    There are 3 casino’s in the city of Detroit and one is literally within walking distance of Ford Field. Not to mention Casino Windsor right across the river that already allows sports betting, or the close to 20 native american casino’s in the state.

    Players simply make too much cash to get them to throw a game these days- and it football other than a QB it would be hard for one player to make that much of an impact.

    One thing the NFL will ABSOLUTELY have to to is make all officials full time in order to avoid ANY notion of shady behavior.

  11. It’s worth $2,300,000,000 NOW.

    What is the NFL without gambling and fantasy (which is basically gambling)?

  12. Hello corruption! Marginal receiver drops easy TD pass, game is lost, receiver is released. Next week he buys a 3 million dollar ranch.

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