The NFL isn’t just the most popular sport in America, but it’s also the most lucrative sports league in the world. The popularity of the NFL continues to grow every year. A poll that was recently taken proved that people living in the US favorite sport to watch. Over 35 % of the American population chose Football as their go to sport of choice. More significantly, football was the only sport that garnered more than 10% of respondents. Baseball was a distant second place with 9% saying that it was their favorite sport. In third place soccer is proving that it can be a success as well as its growing in popularity with 7% of indicating they enjoyed watching the sport. Last year in 2018, it was only the second time in history that any sport other than football, baseball or basketball was indicated as the favorite of more than 7% of individuals polled (NASCAR auto racing measured at 7% in 1997 but has been unable to maintain that plateau. This data clearly indicates that although the overall sports viewership landscape is changing dramatically football has not only held on to their spot as the top but has opened up a formidable lead over the ‘field’.
Based on the NGCB (Nevada Gaming Control Board) new data showed clearly that the NFL is the biggest betting sport in the United States but that doesn’t indicate just how dominant it is in the overall North American marketplace. In fact, the dominance of football at the betting window is even more pronounced than among viewers and fans. A 2017 survey of US sports bettors revealed that 78% considered football as their favorite wagering sport. Interestingly, NFL football barely cracks the top ten list of ‘most popular betting sports’ internationally. It ranks #9 on the list well behind soccer, cricket, tennis, rugby and even handball and volleyball.
Despite this relatively small wagering footprint in Europe, Asia and elsewhere the amount of money bet on NFL football is staggering. The 2018 Super Bowl attracted $158.6 million in betting action in the state of Nevada alone. Experts suggest that Nevada’s sports betting revenue amounts to only 1 or 2 percent of the worldwide total meaning that the total amount of money bet on the Super Bowl worldwide is in the billions of dollars. Data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board indicates that since 1992 bettors have wagered over $30 billion dollars US on NFL and college football.