Eilers & Krejcik Survey Sheds Light on American Sports Betting Customer Base

Posted on: September 4, 2019, 11:59h. 

Last updated on: September 5, 2019, 12:33h.

Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming has released a new survey that it says gives the growing US sportsbook industry more detailed information about their customers and individuals they may be able to attract to their retail establishments and online applications.

Not surprisingly, a lot of American sports bettors like to gamble on football. A recently released survey by research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming reveals that 93 percent of active sports bettors have placed a bet on an NFL game in the last 12 months. The 2019 NFL season kicks off Thursday. (Image: Todd Rosenberg/NFL)

Titled Why Americans Do (And Don’t) Bet on Sports, the firm surveyed about 3,000 people on wagering. Its release comes at a time when the American sports betting market is expanding significantly.

In the last two months, legal sportsbooks have opened in Arkansas, New York, Iowa, Oregon, and Indiana. With those states now on board, there are 13 with legalized sports betting.

That does not include six additional states and the District of Columbia, all of which are in the process of either drafting regulations or preparing for implementation.

“For all of the hype surrounding the spread of regulated sportsbooks, there’s still a massive amount of ambiguity around how Americans will actually interact with legal sports betting,” Chris Grove, an Eilers & Krejcik partner who directs the firm’s sports betting practice, said in a statement.

Results Both Expected and Eye-Opening

Some of the results the firm revealed in a press release – the entire report can be purchased from the firm or obtained as part of a subscription to its market research reports – aren’t necessarily surprising. For example, the survey found 93 percent of all active sports bettors in the US have placed a bet on a pro football game in the last 12 months.

According to data from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research, football has been the most popular sport for bettors, by handle, every year since 1992. That was the first year, the center broke down handle by sport.

However, 45 percent of those same bettors told Eilers & Krejcik that they’re highly satisfied with their current method of betting, and another 41 percent “somewhat satisfied.” According to the firm, that might pose a significant obstacle for legal sportsbooks looking to sway customers from illegal bookies and offshore sites.

Lawmakers from several states have said, including in interviews with Casino.org, that a major reason they pushed to legalize sports betting is to get the activity out of the black market and into a safe, regulated market where their interests are protected. However, the findings from respondents make it seem that opening legal retail sportsbooks may not be attractive enough to those who can still access an offshore account from their laptop or their bookie from their phone.

Currently, the only states with legal online sports betting are Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Casino Sportsbooks Preferred

The survey broke down respondents into four factions all mainstream or active sports bettors, highly engaged bettors, nonbettors but interested, and those uninterested

More mainstream bettors said they would prefer to use a casino sportsbook, 70 percent, or one that was established by a professional sports league, 66 percent. Mainstream bettors were less likely to want to use a sports lottery branded book, 47 percent, or one operated by a daily fantasy sports provider, 42 percent.

Interested nonbettors said they would prefer a lottery-based book, 68 percent, than a casino operation, 50 percent. A sports league sportsbook would interest 48 percent, while a book run by a daily fantasy provider would appeal to only 11 percent.

That last finding seems to run counter to what’s happening in New Jersey, where about 80 percent of all sports bets are placed online. The two largest sportsbooks in that state are FanDuel and DraftKings, which just so happen to be fantasy sports providers.

Their market share can be attributed to first-mover advantage and an existing database of highly-engaged bettors,” Grove told Casino.org.

Eilers & Krejcik also see greater acceptance of betting on esports, as more than a quarter of mainstream bettors said they have wagered on such an event in the last year.