Sports Betting Check-Ins Jump 77% For Opening Night: Here's How Many People Could Bet On 2022 NFL Season

Zinger Key Points
  • Initial check-in request data from Thursday suggests a strong number for NFL betting in 2022.
  • The 2022 NFL season kicks off with 31 states offering legal sports betting.

The National Football League kicked off its 2022 season with a marquee Thursday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills.

With more states having legalized sports betting for the season, here’s a look at what could be in store for the industry and publicly traded sports betting companies.

What Happened: The 2022 NFL season could see an increase in sports betting handle. Data from Thursday Night’s opening contest suggests that more people could be betting this season.

Geolocation volume checks from GeoComply were up 77% year-over-year for the NFL season opener, as reported by sports betting reporter Ryan Butler.

A total of 22.6 million location checks were performed on behalf of sports betting clients.

GeoComply performed 3.7 million geolocation checks in the state of New York on Thursday, the first opening night of an NFL season legally offered to residents in the state, as New York joined the online sports betting party during the NFL Playoffs in early 2022.

The American Gaming Association estimates that 46.6 million Americans will bet on the 2022 NFL season, according to ESPN. This would be a 3% increase from the prior season. Of the total, 23 million plan on betting online during the NFL season, which would be up 18% from 2021.

A total of 31 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico offer legal sports betting. Several other states could legalize soon and be part of the 2022 NFL season.

In 2022, over $50.4 billion has already been bet on sports with U.S. based sportsbooks, according to data from the American Gaming Association.

The NFL is one of the largest bet on sports of the year and could see a new influx of new users from new states.

Stocks to Watch: A handful of sports betting companies operate in the U.S. market in states that have legalized sports betting.

Genius Sports GENI: Sports betting data company Genius Sports has a partnership with the NFL as the official data provider to sports betting operators.

This means that sports betting companies need to partner with Genius Sports if they want real-time data and in some cases the ability to offer same game parlays. The NFL is an investor in Genius Sports.

As more states legalize and more sportsbooks hit the market, Genius Sports could continue to see the benefits of its exclusive partnership with the NFL.

DraftKings Inc DKNG: One of the most talked about sports betting operators ahead of Thursday Night’s opening game was DraftKings. Heavy promotional activity is a big part of the business to attract new customers and also get customers to deposit money ahead of big events like the start of the season. DraftKings offered an early payout bet on the Bills and Rams that would pay out bettors wager if a team went up by seven at any point in the game. Five minutes into the game, the Bills led 7-0. The promotion cost DraftKings an estimated $6 million, according to Action Network reporter Darren Rovell.

While the promotion cost DraftKings money, it also likely led to increased betting handle and people placing their winnings on other bets during the contest.

Related Link: 9 Stocks To Watch For Ohio's Sports Betting Market, Which Could HIt $12 Billion 

FanDuel: Owned by Flutter Entertainment PDYPY, FanDuel has been a market leader in the states in which it operates. The company has also put a focus on earnings with tighter cost controls and perhaps less promotional activity than competitors.

Flutter reported six month revenue of $4.12 billion, up 10.9% year-over-year. The company highlighted it had 51% market share in the U.S. in the first half of the fiscal year compared to 45% in the prior year.

FanDuel held the No. 1 market share in 13 of the 15 states in which it offered online sports betting during the aforementioned time period. With less promotional activity, it could be interesting to see if FanDuel can maintain its betting handle lead, or if bettors will choose to take free money and heavy promotions offered by other operators.

Barstool Sportsbook: Owned by PENN Entertainment PENN, Barstool Sportsbook offers its online sports betting in several states including the recently launched Kansas market.

The company has seen a loyal base of users thanks to its strong focus on using its personalities and brand ambassadors as the face of the betting business and to offer boosted odds bets for customers.

BetMGM: A 50/50 joint venture between Entain PLC GMVHY and MGM Resorts International MGM, BetMGM has been one of the top four players in the online sports betting segment. The company was one of the top advertisers during the Thursday Night Football game, suggesting it could once again focus on strong marketing to boost its customer base.

The company is also an official partner of several NFL teams, which could give it a boost during the season with offerings geared toward existing NFL fans.

Caesars: The Caesars Sportsbook from Caesars Entertainment CZR has been one of the smaller players in market share for the U.S. online sports betting market share but finds itself fighting for a top four position in many states. The company was an early leader in New York thanks to heavy promotional activity to start the year. As the company reels itself back in with less promotional activity it is counting on sticky customers thanks to its Caesars Rewards offering.

Disclosure: Author is long GENI shares.

Photo via Shutterstock. 

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